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Misawa F-16s drop bombs during range day

AOMORI, Japan - An F-16 Fighting Falcon soars in the sky during a Range Day event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 21, 2016.  The F-16 is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft that is high  maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air and air-to-surface attacks.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon soars in the sky during a Range Day event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 21, 2016. The F-16 is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft that is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air and air-to-surface attacks.

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Many gathered around in anticipation as F-16 Fighting Falcons soared into the sky during a Range Day event here, Oct. 21.

Range day is a yearly event coordinated by the 35th Operations Support Squadron, allowing Misawa personnel and families to spectate F-16s drop bombs and strafe targets at the Draughon Range.

“This event is unique to Misawa,” said 1st Lt. Jorden Simons, a 35th OSS intelligence analyst. “Compared to other United States Forces Japan bases, we are the only base in Japan with a live air-to-ground training range.”

Simons said the purpose of the event was to demonstrate the combat capability of the 13th and 14th Fighter Squadrons as well as displaying the many uses of the Draughon Range to personnel.

“There are few chances to actually show those who are not directly involved in the mission here in Japan what it looks like when the bombs actually hit targets,” Simons said.

Although air-to-ground tactical demonstrations were the main focus of the event, there were also other organizations present to show their capabilities.

Weather, aircrew flight equipment, explosive ordnance disposal and many other shops also displayed their equipment to the public, letting them get a closer look at the devices implemented in the Misawa fight.

“It was very awesome!” said Karen Humphrey, mother of Capt. Shea Humphrey, the 35th Operation Support Squadron chief of intelligence weapons and tactics. “It is nice to see the comradery between everyone and see how the different units contribute to the mission. It was awesome to see the jets up close and personal [as they flew by].”