Bi-lateral Exercise Provides Strong Defense from Surface, Air
By 1st Lt. Cammie Quinn
35th Fighter Wing, public affairs
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan – American and Japanese military forces partnered to conduct Iron Spear, a weeklong bi-lateral exercise near Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 1 to 8.
Iron Spear allowed U.S. Air Force fighter pilots and Japanese Ground Self Defense Force service members to hone their offense and defensive techniques in the air and on the ground, respectively.
The exercise also provided American and Japanese service members an arena in which they could act and react to realistic threats.
A primary mission of the F-16 Flying Falcon is to conduct suppression and destruction of enemy air defenses.
Previous to Iron Spear, Misawa Air Base pilots practiced SEAD and DEAD missions according to a simulated system, Capt. Jason Schaub, 14th Fighter Squadron chief of plans, said. By coordinating with JGSDF service members, the pilots were able to respond to actual ground defense operators.
“We flew over live surface-to-air sites during the exercise to test how we employ our training scenarios,” Schaub said. “With the training, both the U.S. Air Force and our JGSDF partners gained an improved knowledge of each other’s capabilities.”
The service members gained much more than realistic training during the exercise, said Sgt. Maj. Ikuo Nomura, JGSDF sergeant major.
“Over the last six years, we have also improved the Japanese and U.S. relationship through exercises like Iron Spear,” Nomura said.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations.
This article was originally published at: http://www.pacaf.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123305231