AETC commander visits Misawa
By Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase, 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 16, 2017
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --
The Air Education and Training Command commander visited Misawa Air Base July 11 to witness the base’s bilateral readiness in which his training teams play vital roles.
Lt. Gen. Darryl L. Roberson checked in on the 372nd Training Squadron, Detachment 23 Airmen and toured the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force’s infrastructure build-up as they prepare for the stand-up of their F-35 Lightning II unit here.
“There were two parts to today’s visit: first to see the members of AETC who ensure Team Misawa's readiness by conducting all training for everyone who works on the F-16s,” Roberson said. “It was great to meet with them, get an update on how things are going, and ensure we’re providing support to them from an AETC perspective.”
The second reason was to ensure the Koku-Jieitai are receiving any support needed as they prepare to bed down their F-35s.
AETC has played a vital part in the multi-role aircraft’s introduction in Japan since the start; JASDF’s F-35 pilots, including the very first who is stationed at Misawa, were trained at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.
“While I have no doubt the JASDF will develop their own knowledge of how the advanced aircraft work, we already have experience with training fifth-generation aircraft,” continued Roberson. “By partnering with one another, we can operate the F-35 in an integrated environment much more effectively and much sooner.”
The addition of this airframe will bolster the power projection platform that is Misawa, ensuring even stronger interoperability across all fronts.
“As our Koku-Jieitai counterparts continue to modernize and maintain a robust air defense force, we will remain working cohesively among different airframes ensuring the mission is completed in the most efficient, steadfast manner,” said Col. R. Scott Jobe, 35th Fighter Wing commander.
The 35th FW’s two F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter squadrons will eventually integrate flying operations with the 3rd Air Wing F-35s, giving pilots the ability to “talk” to each other digitally as well as over radio, allowing seamless integration in case of wartime operations.
“This is huge for our wing’s history as we move forward with our Koku-Jieitai partners in our ongoing commitment to secure the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region,” said Jobe. “Having another fighter platform at Misawa AB will enhance our future partnership as well as continue to provide combat-ready personnel who are the foundation of Pacific stability and security.”
Roberson stated the F-35 is a multi-role aircraft that includes stealth as well as advanced sensors and avionics producing the most lethal, supportable and survivable aircraft in the world. Its effectiveness in that mission is multiplied when working closely with joint and combined partners.
“This cooperative training ensures we all have the same foundational aviation principles that increase our ability to be more effective as we operate similar aircraft such as the F-15, and soon the F-35,” said Roberson. “This interoperability is critical to the integration of our air forces, and it is why I am glad I was able to hear the input from our key partners involved in this enterprise in person.”