An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | June 16, 2020

Sailors and Airmen Increase Interoperability During Local Integration

By Cmdr. Peter Scheu 94th Airlift Wing

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Sailors assigned to the “Star Warriors” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 209, and Airmen assigned to the “Panthers” of the 13th Fighter Squadron, and the “Samurai” of the 14th Fighter Squadron are increasing their warfighting readiness and survivability during a series of local integration training exercises.

The daily training exercises between the Navy’s EA-18G Growlers and the Air Force’s F-16CM Fighting Falcons are taking place over the course of several weeks, with the intent of developing and strengthening Navy and Air Force interoperability though a series of realistic scenarios.

“We have some different terminology, there are certain things we do differently, but we are overall aligned very well,” said Cmdr. Pete Scheu, VAQ-209’s public affairs officer. “The reason we are out there is to learn and get smarter, to get better at what it is we do, and get better with integration.”

VAQ-209’s mission is to safely train, attain, and maintain mobilization readiness for immediate employment in the event of a conflict or national emergency, and their efforts in learning and working with the Airmen of both the 13th and 14th Fighter Squadrons exemplifies their commitment to uphold the mission.

“Electronic attack squadrons are the only aircraft squadrons in the military which can defeat threat radars non-kinetically, thus increasing friendly force survivability,” said Scheu.

The Fighting Falcons are tasked with finding their targets and eliminating them, while the Growlers jam any radars from enemy threats, which in turn leads to an increased rate of survivability and enhanced warfighting readiness.

“In general as a squadron, we do this all the time,” said Scheu. “As part of our workup process, we have to do multiple LFEs, or Large Force Exercises. We have been to Alaska, Duluth, Minnesota, Volk Field, Minnesota, and Nellis Air Force base quite a bit. We do this constantly, all the time.”

All participants in the joint training exercises partake in comprehensive planning briefs in order to make sure everyone has a clear understanding of the event. It is through such means that participants can openly discuss their capabilities and maximize their lines of communication.

“Training with our Navy counterparts provides us the opportunity to develop and strengthen our interoperability,” said Maj. David Dubel, director of operations for the 14th Fighter Squadron.

In order to keep in line with COVID-19 countermeasures, special arrangements were put in place for both pre-exercise briefs and post-exercise debriefs.

“We look forward to learning from one another and working together to achieve our ultimate mission, the defense of Japan and forwarding U.S. priorities. I am proud to fly alongside these men and women who take their jobs seriously and understand that we are all part of the same team,” said Dubel.

The 14th Fighter Squadron conducts Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) air operations in support of the 35th Operations Group.

“The level of integration depends on our phase of training,” said Dubel. “In the current phase, we are training in our primary mission set, SEAD. We are currently integrating in both flying periods each day.”

Although both services have their individual training schedules, and accompanying areas of expertise, their continued, combined efforts synchronize with the mission of protecting U.S. interests in the Pacific and defending Japan, as well as deterring adversaries through their presence, readiness, and ability to project air combat power.

“Even though we start from a common ground in Air, Land and Sea Applications (ALSA), it remains theory until we have the opportunity to exercise it in the air at 400 knots,” said Dubel. “Having the Growlers here and willing to integrate on almost every missionized sortie has helped turn theory into execution.”

Understanding the tactics, techniques, and procedures between each service strengthens warfighters to be better prepared for any future possible Air Tasking Order.

“Flying and working together is extremely valuable, allowing us to become more effective at SEAD planning and execution, resulting in a more lethal combined force,” said Dubel.

“It really is synergistic,” said Scheu. “It is really incredible how much we can complement each other, help each other, and exponentially increase our warfighting readiness and survivability against whatever tactical problem we face.”

Individually, each service is quite formidable, but together, in their continued efforts to draw strength from solidarity, they are a global force to be reckoned.

VAQ-209 is currently forward deployed to Naval Air Facility Misawa in support of United States Indo-Pacific Command joint security and presence operations.


Like Us
Follow Us



Yokota Airlifts Supplies to Guam After Typhoon Mawar
Airman Cody Raymond, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, marshals a loader with pallets of perishable and frozen goods into position at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 3, 2023. The pallets were packaged and transported to aid Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in their recovery efforts following Typhoon Mawar. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Spencer Tobler)
June 8, 2023 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Team Yokota sprung into action and coordinated a delivery of over 36,000 pounds of frozen foods and refrigerated perishable items to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to aid in the ongoing Guam relief...

U.S. Transcom Commander Touts Partnerships as Key to Global Mobility
Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, delivers testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2024, Washington, D.C., April 27, 2023. (DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexander Kubitza)
June 8, 2023 - WASHINGTON -- Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, U.S. Transportation Command commander, said our allies and commercial partners are key to the U.S. maintaining its capability to move troops and supplies around the globe at...

Agile Combat Employment Course Prepares Airmen for Strategic Engagements in Indo-Pacific
Tagalog Language Enabled Airman Program scholars prepare for role-play scenarios focused on addressing issues of basing in the Indo-Pacific, May 18, 2023, Hurlburt Field, Fla. The Airmen took part in a three-week agile combat employment course, May 8-26, sponsored by Hurlburt’s Air Force Special Operations School and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and in partnership with the Air Force Culture and Language Center at Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)
June 8, 2023 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) -- The National Defense Strategy and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy identify the Indo-Pacific as a priority theater vital to the nation’s security and prosperity.The Air Force Culture and...

Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, 13th MEU Return to Home Port San Diego
In this file photo, a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II pilot with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, performs a vertical landing aboard amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island as Indonesian servicemembers view the landing from Indonesian Navy vessels during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training/ Marine Exercise (MAREX) Indonesia 2022, Dec. 18. CARAT/MAREX Indonesia is a bilateral exercise between Indonesia and the United States designed to promote regional security cooperation, maintain and strengthen maritime partnerships, and enhance maritime interoperability. In its 28th year, the CARAT series is comprised of multinational exercises, designed to enhance U.S. and partner navies’ and marine corps abilities to operate together in response to traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad J. Pulliam)
June 8, 2023 - SAN DIEGO, California -- The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, led by commander, Amphibious Squadron 7 and comprised of amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) and amphibious transport docks USS Anchorage (LPD 23)...

U.S. Embassy Celebrate Malaysian Cadets’ Admission to the U.S. Air Force Academ
U.S. Embassy Celebrate Malaysian Cadets’ Admission to the U.S. Air Force Academy.  (Courtesy photo)
June 8, 2023 - U.S. EMBASSY in Malaysia -- The U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur hosted a send-off ceremony on June 8 to recognize the cadets and celebrate their admission to U.S. service academies. U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia Brian D. McFeeters...