By Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Bulow-Gonterman
| 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs | Feb. 20, 2020
A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., six F-16 Fighting Falcon and four Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-2s from Misawa Air Base, Japan fly in formation off the coast of Northern Japan as part of a combined Continuous Bomber Presence and Bomber Task Force mission Feb 4, 2020. Continuous Bomber Presence aircraft participation in events with other countries benefits U.S. national security interests without interfering with the ability to support current operations. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Bulow-Gont)
A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress, assigned to the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 191st Air Refuelling Squadron, Wright Air National Guard, Utah, after taking off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 3, 2020. Continuous Bomber Presence deployments provide opportunities to advance and strengthen alliances, as well as strengthen long-standing military-to-military partnerships. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Helena Owens)
A B-52H Stratofortress prepares for takeoff from the flightline at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Feb. 1, 2020, as part of a bomber task force mission. U.S. Strategic Command bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating the U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions across the globe. (Photo by U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Kimmell)
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Six U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons integrated with two B-52H Stratofortress bombers and 13 Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force or JASDF) F-2s to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization training at Draughon Range near the coast of Misawa, Japan, Feb 3.
The 14th Fighter Squadron teamed up with pilots based out of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Minot AFB, North Dakota and Hyakuri Air Base, Japan, three days prior to mission execution to conduct a mission-planning orientation that ensured all the aircraft arrived in the airspace at the same time.
“This exercise was unique because this was the first time we’ve combined F-2s and B-52s in a training scenario utilizing Draughon Range,” said Lt. Col. David Madson, the 35th Operations Support Squadron commander. “We continue to increase the capabilities and capacity of Draughon Range and the connecting airspace. In doing such we’re able to provide unmatched training opportunities in the Northern Pacific.”
With three different airframes in attendance from across the Indo-Pacific and continental United States, all are puzzle pieces that, when teamed up, are ready for combat.
“Being able to mission plan and execute a large force engagement exercise from geographically separated bases throughout the world shows the interoperability of Japan and the U.S. and their ability to provide combat air power in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Maj. Joseph Valdez, 35th OSS wing weapons officer.
During the training scenario the B-52s and F-2s simulated strikes over 80 assigned targets, and then accomplished follow-on dynamic targeting while the F-16s provided escort for the strikers against simulated adversary aircraft, and suppression of enemy air defenses against the integrated air defenses located on Draughon Range.
Each asset played a vital role over the course of the mission demonstrating the U.S. commitment to allies and partners through the global employment of military forces.
“This mission was significant in that it brought together U.S. Air Force and JASDF assets and is a representation of our ability to synchronize effects from all over the world to provide lethal airpower to combatant commanders whenever requested,” said Madson.
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