Japanese & Red Flag AK

From the US Pacific Command (http://www.pacom.mil/web/site_pages/media/news%20200908/20090805-F15Training.shtml):

U.S., Japanese F-15 pilots train for Red Flag Alaska

by Tech. Sgt. Angelique Perez
18th Wing Public Affairs

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan — U.S. and Japanese F-15 pilots began air-refueling training last week for the “Red Flag Alaska” exercise in October. The day and night air-refueling training began July 27 and will continue through Aug. 7.

Instructor pilots from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and Yokota Air Base, Japan, joined KC-135 teams from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron at Kadena Air Base to train 18 Japan Air Self Defense Forces (JASDF) pilots on how to refuel safely, as well as help them regain their currencies for Red Flag Alaska. [What?!]

Captain Scott Taylor, an instructor pilot with the 95th Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla., said this training is beneficial to both the U.S. Air Force and JASDF.

“This also allows us to observe JASDF tactics and compare them with our tactics to ensure we are able to operate effectively together as a coalition,” said the captain.

Red Flag Alaska is a large coalition exercise that involves many aircraft in complex missions. The exercise provides U.S. and coalition forces an opportunity to train together, improving readiness for wartime coalition missions.

“Air-to-air refueling is an essential skill for JASDF and U.S. pilots to allow for force projection,” Capt. Taylor said. “This training will allow them to safely deploy their jets to Alaska; during the exercise, it will allow them to get the gas they need to make it to the fight and have plenty of time to accomplish the objectives.”

Major Marcelo Morales, an instructor pilot with the 13th Air Force, Detachment 1, Yokota Air Base, said the JASDF pilots have executed the training well and that he’s been very pleased with the training so far.

“Hopefully after this exercise we will all have learned to work more effectively with each other, not just pilot to pilot, controller to pilot, but also on the equipment, data link and maintenance ends,” Maj. Morales said. “What we practice now will pay dividends in the future when we train or when we actually execute as a coalition air force.”

Lieutenant Colonel Osamu Uemori, commander of the 303rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, 6th Wing, Komatsu Air Base, Japan, said that JASDF pilots are looking forward to training in Alaska because there are fewer air restrictions there as opposed to Japan.

“It is so valuable for JASDF pilots to fly in an environment that allows them to execute a variety of training scenarios,” Lt. Col. Uemori said. “During this joint training, we have been learning specific techniques to help us brush up on our skills; it will also bring us a marked improvement for air defense capability.”

Lieutenant Colonel Uemori said that they have received a great deal of support from the U.S. instructor pilots who have advised them on techniques not only for air-refueling, but also for Red Flag Alaska.

“I believe Red Flag Alaska is valuable for both the pilots and Japan Self Defense Forces to enhance our main fighter aircraft – the F-15’s – capability in the future,” Lt. Col. Uemori added.

“Operating in the environment in the world today it’s important that we can accomplish objectives with coalition partners, not just the U.S. or JASDF alone,” Capt. Taylor said. “JASDF are definitely an important player in coalition forces out there. The U.S. can’t go in and accomplish the mission alone.”

This article was originally published at: http://www.kadena.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123161947

[Emphasis mine.]


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