U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force personnel push a supply pallet together into a loading truck at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 25, 2019. The pallets included both U.S. Air Force and JASDF supplies for exercise RED FLAG-Alaska 19-2. (Photo by U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)
A U.S. Air National Guard MQ-9 Reaper assigned to the 108th Attack Squadron out of Hancock Air Force Base (AFB), New York, taxis during RED FLAG-Alaska 19-2 at Eielson AFB, Alaska, June 6, 2019. During the exercise, the MQ-9 was flown remotely by pilots located at Hancock AFB, which is more than 4,000 miles away. (Photo by U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eric M. Fisher)
F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 13th Fighter Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan, the 35th and 80th Fighter Squadrons, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, perform pre-flight checks at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 10, 2019. The 13th FS and 35th FS “Pantons” are participating in Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 19-2, which allows units from around the Pacific to train in an air space roughly the size of Oklahoma. (Photo by U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stefan Alvarez)
Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-2s from the 3rd Air Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan, taxi down the runway at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 10, 2019. The 3rd Wing is participating in Red Flag-Alaska, a large-scale training exercise, with units and allied nations' air forces from around the Pacific. (Photo by Senior Airman Stefan Alvarez)
A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot prepares to take off in preparation for RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 19-2 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 6, 2019. The aerial portion of RF-A takes place in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, which has an airspace of more than 67,000 square miles. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Larue Gue)
A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II sits on the flightline at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, in preparation for RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 19-2, June 6, 2019. RF-A serves as an ideal platform for international engagement enabling all involved to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures while improving interoperability. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Larue Gue)
A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, assigned to the 35th Fighter Wing (FW), receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker, assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron, Aug. 21, 2018, during RED FLAG-Alaska 18-3 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The 35th FWs mission is to provide worldwide deployable forces, protect U.S. interests in the Pacific and defend Japan with sustained forward presence and focused mission support. (Photo by U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eric M. Fisher)
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force logistics team members came together to load supplies and prepare for RED FLAG-Alaska 19-2 at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 27 to 31.
More than 35 personnel prepped 281,000 pounds of U.S. and JASDF cargo over a three-month span, preparing for one of the most crucial combat training operations of the year. The 10-day air combat exercise involved more than 1,200 people and nearly 100 aircraft.
“With a month-long exercise, there is a lot of coordination involved with supplies,” said Staff Sgt. Tristan Caro, a 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation journeyman. “RED FLAG-Alaska is crucial for how we work with our allies. Bringing militaries from all over the world into one exercise gives us a new perspective.”
The 35th LRS follows a three-step process: assembly, marshalling and in check, which ensures a consistent and thorough process for the cargo being used during the training exercise.
These supplies are critical for this multi-national, mixed-platform combat operations exercise, which tested the capabilities of participating units by simulating threats posed by offensive and defensive teams. At the height of the operation, up to 70 aircraft operate in the same airspace at once.
“Working together with our counterparts helps us understand each process and enables our team to better prepare for real-world events,” said 2nd Lt. Mariana Haney, the 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron plans and integration officer in charge of deployments. “There’s a variety of cargo, so multiple squadrons are involved with the supply logistics.”
JASDF personnel inspect their own cargo, ensuring it meets U.S. standards, then joined the munitions flight and LRS flights in moving and loading the cargo into a Boeing 747 from Air Mobility Command.
“It takes a team effort to execute on all the preparation we have done,” explained Haney, “Working with allied forces and other sections allows us to understand our process in a different context, which is crucial for actual scenarios.”
After seven days of loading and moving cargo, the final shipment of supplies made its way to Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, enabling Team Misawa to execute the wide range of real world scenarios in an austere environment for RF-A 19-2.
RF-A 19-2 wrapped up June 21 with the next iteration of RF-A, 19-3, scheduled for August 1 to 16.