Allied Aces: U.S. and JASDF fighter squadron's unite

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Antwain Hanks
  • 35th FW/PA

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force, 301st Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS), and the 13th Fighter Squadron established each other as sister squadrons during the 301st TFS’s 50th anniversary ceremony at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct 14, 2023.

U.S. and JASDF service members came together alongside honorary guests to celebrate the 301st TFS, established in 1973. This included various guest speakers from new and old, such as the previous JASDF commander and the current commander of the 301st TFS JASDF Lt. Col. Kazuhito Okamoto.

“I believe that our efforts to deepen communication and mutual understanding and improve interoperability through bilateral training and cooperation with 35th Fighter Wing and partners are strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance and its capability to deter and respond,” expressed Okamoto.

After the anniversary ceremony, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Keegan Dale, 13th FS commander, joined the podium alongside Okamoto, solidifying the establishment of sister squadrons with one another.

A sister squadron agreement is a formal commitment between two squadrons that reinforces their promise to continue building camaraderie, increasing their synergy and ability to perform the mission alongside one another.

“I am very excited to formally establish our sister squadron relationship here today,” said Dale. “I’m even more excited about furthering our integration in the air. I hope we never have to go to war, but if we do, our enemies should fear the 301st and 13th fighting side by side.”

This ceremony displayed the commitment between the U.S. and Japan, after 50 years of cooperation, to protecting shared interests, including the defense of Japan and a free and open Indo-Pacific region.