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Range day showcases Wild Weasel mission

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Grace Nichols
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Members of Team Misawa attended the annual Range Day event hosted by the 35th Operations Group at Draughon Range near Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 9, 2020. 
Range Day is a bilateral demonstration featuring both ground and air operations between U.S. and Koku-Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) partners.
The Draughon Range personnel work with U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons, and frequently host other military services, branches and airframes to include JASDF aircraft. They facilitate training exercises by providing targets and a place to fire munitions. Range Day showcased these capabilities through 13th Fighter Squadron pilots practicing to attack ground targets from low altitudes using aircraft-mounted automatic weapons, alongside JASDF displaying their anti-aircraft capabilities using informational exhibits. 
"I'm honored to have partaken in Range Day today representing many of our friends," said JASDF Staff Sgt. Kento Shinoda, Third Base Air Defense Squadron, 3rd Air Wing. "This event reminded me that our daily training and mission accomplishments come because of the appreciation of our families, rewarding us for our service."
Although the crowd was smaller than previous years, the guests included Misawa Air Base service members and their families and JASDF air defense operators.  
"Range Day allows not only families an opportunity to see operations, but it also gives the individuals who work on base an opportunity to see how what they do ties into the overall mission,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Jasmine Bogard, Range Day organizer and 35th Operations Support Squadron assistant director of operations.
However, the flying units were not the only focus. The fire department, aircrew flight equipment team, explosive ordnance disposal team, security forces and other units also displayed their equipment to the public, allowing them an up-close look at all domain capabilities to integrate with U.S. partners.
“Overall, Range Day showcased the comradery between Misawa units and presented deeper insight to family members of how Airmen maintain the highest level of mission readiness,” Bogard said.