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USAF F-22s participate in interoperability exercises with Japanese forces

U.S. Air Force planes and personnel based in Hawaii joined U. S. Marine Corps and Japan Air Self Defense Force counterparts in Japan for dynamic force exercises, which concluded this week. Photo courtesy of JASDF/Twitter
U.S. Air Force planes and personnel based in Hawaii joined U. S. Marine Corps and Japan Air Self Defense Force counterparts in Japan for dynamic force exercises, which concluded this week. Photo courtesy of JASDF/Twitter

April 9 (UPI) -- Hawaii-based planes of the U.S. Air Force, including F-22 fighter planes, were deployed to Japan for exercises with Japanese forces for the last month, the Air Force said on Friday.

Airmen of the 199th and 19th Fighter Squadrons at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, trained alongside their U.S. Marines and Japan Air Self-Defense Force counterparts at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.

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The Dynamic Force Employment exercises began on March 12 and concluded on Monday, the Air Force statement said.

"This [deployment] allows our pilots and maintainers to train alongside one another, learn and apply best practices and ensure the joint force remains agile and responsive in the Pacific," Lt. Col. Brian Nash, F-22 Detachment commander, MCAS-Iwakuni, said in the press release.

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"This exercise demonstrates the Total Force's ability to rapidly and unpredictably project combat power to a place and time of our choosing," Nash said.

The airmen practiced command and control skills in combined interoperability exercises with the JASDF, the Air Force statement said.

Participants included 4 F-22s, an F-16 and two KC-135 refueling planes of the U.S. Air Force, and four F-35s of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force's 3rd Air Wing, a JASDF statement said.

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Dynamic Force Employment exercises are elements of the Agile Combat Employment capabilities explained in the 2018 National Defense Strategy.

They emphasize flexible use of available forces to prepare for potential large-scale conflict with competitors such as China and Russia, while continuing to execute smaller, regional deterrence measures, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Recent examples include the December 2018 deployment of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group in Northern Europe near the Arctic Circle, and the 2020 flights of B-1B and B-52H bombers over the Sea of Okhotsk.

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