Hawaii F-22s complete DFE operations out of MCAS Iwakuni

A contingent of Air National Guard and active-duty Airmen based out of Hawaii were deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan to conduct Dynamic Force Employment operations, March 12 – April 5.

Throughout their time in Japan, the Airmen deployed from the 199th Fighter Squadron and 19th FS at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, trained alongside their Marine and Koku-Jieitai, or Japan Air Self-Defense Force, counterparts in support of the National Defense Strategy‘s effort in maintaining global peace and stability.

“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,” said Lt. Col. Brian Nash, F-22 Detachment commander, MCAS-Iwakuni. “This exercise demonstrates the Total Force’s ability to rapidly and unpredictably project combat power to a place and time of our choosing.”

DFE operations fall under the scope of Agile Combat Employment capabilities which allows Pacific Air Forces to continuously exercise ways to improve passive and active defense capabilities to ensure a competitive advantage and to protect assets and personnel in the future.

While conducting operations out of MCAS Iwakuni, Airmen got the chance to work hand-in-hand with their Marine counterparts, building their joint team capabilities.

“Having our fifth-generation counterparts here allowed us to share knowledge and practice tactics that will be relevant when we are called upon,” said a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B pilot. “The F-22 deployment to Iwakuni afforded resident squadrons valuable training opportunities and increased our ability to fight and win in this area of responsibility.”

Not only did the Airmen train and hone their Joint All Domain Command and Control skills, conducting combined exercises with their JASDF counterparts bolstered the interoperability of both militaries.

“Fighter units of our two countries have the capability to respond to any situation and to swiftly achieve their tactical goals,” said JASDF Lt. Col. Tamura Hidetoshi, 302nd Fighter Squadron commander. “Also, we are constantly enhancing these capabilities through bilateral training and we are determined to maintain the air power needed to ensure regional security. Having participated in this training, I am very convinced that Japan and the U.S. are absolutely unanimous in their intention and capabilities.”

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors from the 199th Fighter Squadron and Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft from the 302nd Tactical Fighter Squadron fly alongside a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron during 5th generation fighter training near Japan, April 1, 2021. The F-22 Raptors are currently operating out of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, to support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's dynamic force employment concept. U.S. and Japanese forces train and operate together regularly, employing a full spectrum of joint and bilateral capabilities, to defend Japan and support a secure and stable Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors from the 199th Fighter Squadron and Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft from the 302nd Tactical Fighter Squadron fly alongside a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron during fifth-generation fighter training near Japan, April 1, 2021. The F-22 Raptors are currently operating out of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s dynamic force employment concept. U.S. and Japanese forces train and operate together regularly, employing a full spectrum of joint and bilateral capabilities, to defend Japan and support a secure and stable Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

U.S. Air Force Raptors from the 199th Fighter Squadron fly alongside a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron during 5th generation fighter training near Mt. Fuji, Japan, April 1, 2021. The F-22 Raptors are currently operating out of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, to support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's dynamic force employment concept. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

U.S. Air Force Raptors from the 199th Fighter Squadron fly alongside a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron during fifth-generation fighter training near Mount Fuji, Japan, April 1, 2021. The F-22 Raptors are currently operating out of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s dynamic force employment concept. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Staff Sgt. Josh Lawson, 909th Air Refueling Squadron a boom operator, refuels a U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, from the 199th Fighter Squadron, during a 5th generation fighter operation near Japan, April 1, 2021. The F-22 Raptors are currently operating out of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, to support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's dynamic force employment concept. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Staff Sgt. Josh Lawson, 909th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, refuels a U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, from the 199th Fighter Squadron, during a fifth-generation fighter operation near Japan, April 1, 2021. The F-22 Raptors are currently operating out of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s dynamic force employment concept. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor with the 199th Fighter Squadron sits on the flight line at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, March 12, 2021. Airmen with the 199th Fighter Squadron and the 19th Fighter Squadron, based out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, deployed to MCAS Iwakuni to conduct local area training with U.S. Marine Corps units. Pacific Air Forces' fighters stand ready to support the global strategic environment as it continues to demand flexibility and freedom of action. The Dynamic Force Employment concept will change the way the Department of Defense uses the joint force with its focus on strategic predictability and operational unpredictability. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Triton Lai)

A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor from the 199th Fighter Squadron sits on the flightline at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, March 12, 2021. Airmen with the 199th FS and the 19th FS, based out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, deployed to MCAS Iwakuni to conduct local area training with U.S. Marine Corps units. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Triton Lai)

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