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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan


Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MCAS Iwakuni is a mission-ready air station, capable of providing continuous base-operating support for tenant organizations and follow-on U.S. and allied forces during training, combat or contingency (HA/DR) operations throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
VMFA-232 returns to Iwakuni

By Lance Cpl. Mason Roy | 10th Marine Regiment | July 24, 2017

JAPANESE AIR SELF-DEFENSE FORCE HYAKURI AIR BASE, Japan (July 21, 2017) – Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 completed their training as part of the Aviation Training Relocation program at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Hyakuri Air Base, Japan, July 21, 2017.

The 14-day ATR was an opportunity to increase operational readiness and interoperability between the U.S. and Japanese forces. It also reduces the overall noise impact across Japan by dispersing bilateral jet-fighter training of U.S. forces across a multitude of different JASDF bases.

“The purpose of ATRs is to train with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Douglas Miller, commanding officer of VMFA-232. “It allows our Marines to get familiar with our Japanese counterparts just in case we have to execute a real-world scenario.”

During the training, VMFA-232 conducted “Red” and “Blue” simulated jet-fighter training by using basic fighter maneuvers, section-engaged maneuvers, active air defense and air interdictions.

“This is a routine rehearsal with dissimilar aircraft and dissimilar languages,” said Miller. “The JASDF performance on the ground and in the air is one of the best I’ve seen over my 25-year career.”

By conducting this training, VMFA-232 and the JASDF were able to establish an understanding of each other’s fighting tactics, allowing both sides to engage in unfamiliar, simulated, air-to-air combat, in order to increase operational readiness.

“If a scenario were to arise, having worked and flown together helps increase our operational readiness.” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Bryan Franzen, operations officer with VMFA-232.

VMFA-232 hopes to work with Japanese forces in the future in order to further foster host-nation partnerships, which in turn forms a more capable alliance and everlasting friendships.

“There’s nothing I like to see more than our Marines and our Japanese counterparts sharing a soda or eating at the dining facility,” said Miller. “Watching them bond with the Japanese is my favorite part of this ATR.”