First Japanese-built F-35A lands at Misawa AB

Banking on it

A Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A banks a corner at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 2, 2017. This is the first Japanese built F-35A, which was assembled at the Final Assembly and Check Out facility at Komaki-Minami Factory of Mitsubishi Heavy Industry. U.S. Air Force Maj. Elijah Supper, Defense Contract Management Agency government flight representative, landed the aircraft at Misawa AB for safety checks before flying across the ocean for its final function test. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

Flying the coop

A Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A flies overhead at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 2, 2017. This is the first Japanese-built F-35A, which was assembled at the Final Assembly and Check Out facility at Komaki-Minami Factory of Mitsubishi Heavy Industry. U.S. Air Force Maj. Elijah Supper, Defense Contract Management Agency government flight representative, stopped at Misawa AB to undergo safety checks before flying across the ocean for the final function test. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

F-35A taxis on runway

U.S. Air Force Maj. Elijah Supper, Defense Contract Management Agency government flight representative, taxis an F-35B on the runway at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 2, 2017. To ensure the jet safely makes it to the United States, Supper stopped at Misawa Air Base, Japan, to undergo safety checks on the aircraft before flying across the ocean. (U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

Guiding an F-35A

A contractor from Lockheed Martin guides U.S. Air Force Maj. Elijah Supper, Defense Contract Management Agency government flight representative, to his parking spot at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 2, 2017. This is the first Japanese-built F-35B, which was assembled at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Komaki South F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out facility. (U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

Banking the corner

U.S. Air Force Maj. Elijah Supper, Defense Contract Management Agency government flight representative, gathers his gear after a flight from Nagoya Airport at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 2, 2017. This is the first Japanese-built F-35B, which was assembled at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Komaki South F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out facility. (U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

A Defense Contract Management Agency government flight representative landed the first Japanese-made F-35A on Misawa AB's runway, Nov. 2.

Maj. Elijah Supper piloted the brand-new aircraft from the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Komaki South F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out facility, and was quickly joined by two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin National Guard, there to escort the new jet across the Pacific.

“This F-35 is one of the most clean and well-built aircraft I have ever seen,” Supper said. “The Japanese take great pride in this aircraft and have ensured it’s made to the highest standard."

Although the aircraft is a Japanese Air Self-Dense Force-owned jet, it is required to go through final function tests in the United States to ensure all future F-35A's produced in Japan are up to standard.

To ensure the jet arrives securely in the United States, Supper stopped at here to undergo safety checks on the F-35A before flying across the ocean.

"After our final inspections, the JASDF will roll out the F-35 in their fleet," explained Supper. "This will only further enhance our strong bilateral ties, allowing us to win future wars.”