Iwakuni HomeNewsNews StoriesNews Article Display
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.
Fukuda visits MCAS Yuma

By Cpl. Nathan Wicks | Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan | October 24, 2016


Yoshihiko Fukuda, mayor of Iwakuni City, Japan, observed F-35B Lightning II operations at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, Oct. 24, 2016.

The visit to MCAS Yuma allowed Fukuda to observe the characteristics, capabilities and properties of the F-35B prior to the scheduled basing of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 at MCAS Iwakuni.

Fukuda observed noise levels and other potential impacts of the aircraft to see what the effect of having these aircraft stationed at MCAS Iwakuni would have on the local Japanese population surrounding the base.

“My goal of this observation tour was to collect information about the F-35B,” said Fukuda. “The government of Japan already briefed me about the deployment plan. However, I would rather have real information based on first-hand experience rather than the information given over the tabletop, such as listening to the sound in reality , and be able to confirm it myself.  I wanted to confirm by being on site, and that was my objective in visiting MCAS Yuma today.”

Upon their scheduled arrival, VMFA-121 will be the first F-35B squadron to be stationed in Japan.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to be heading to Iwakuni,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. J. T. Bardo, commanding officer of VMFA-121. “The type of training we will be conducting will be very similar to that of the F-18 you already see in Iwakuni. I’ve been deployed to Iwakuni before, and all I can say is that it’s an honor to be going back. I’m very excited about being able to return. The opportunity to be in Japan and as one of the first units and be able to train jointly with our partner services there is a great honor, and we are looking forward to it.”

Fukuda said he felt that today’s experience gave him a better understanding of the aircraft and its capabilities, and he is grateful towards everyone who made this visit possible.

“I would like to thank all the commanders, leaders and pilots that provided me the information about the F-35B’s safety and about how the Marine Corps would respond to the community’s concerns and also the benefit from having the most state-of-art, advanced technology and what it has to offer compared to its predecessors,” said Fukuda. “I believe today’s tour has been very much productive and fruitful.”