Australia joins with Japan for first bilateral air combat training

The Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force (RAAF) has suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed bilat­er­al fly­ing oper­a­tions with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) for the first time.

The air com­bat famil­iari­sa­tion sor­tie con­duct­ed on 14 July dur­ing Exer­cise Red Flag was car­ried out by RAAF F/A‑18 Hor­nets from No 3 Squadron in NSW, and JASDF F‑15 Eagles from No 4 th Air Wing. 

The RAAF air­craft arrived at Mis­awa Air Force Base yes­ter­day, sec­ond only to the Unit­ed States mil­i­tary to ever have flown into a JASDF base. 

This lev­el of high-end engage­ment offered the impor­tant oppor­tu­ni­ty to build on the strong friend­ship between Aus­tralia and Japan,” Com­mand­ing Offi­cer No 3 Squadron, Wing Com­man­der Ter­ry van Haren, said. 

The large force, mul­ti-threat envi­ron­ment of Red Flag enabled our fight­er pilots to con­duct com­plex mis­sions with Japan, as well as the Unit­ed States and Sin­ga­pore as part of the exer­cise coali­tion force,” 

Now that we have arrived in Japan, we will hold a cul­tur­al and dia­logue exchange at Mis­awa to fur­ther devel­op the strong bonds fos­tered between the two nations dur­ing Red Flag,” Wing Com­man­der van Haren said. 

The four-day exchange pro­gramme includes sev­er­al cul­tur­al activ­i­ties and capa­bil­i­ty briefs to enhance shared co-oper­a­tion and mil­i­tary appre­ci­a­tion between the Aus­tralian and Japan­ese fight­er squadrons.” 

Dur­ing the vis­it to Mis­awa, mem­bers from RAAF’s No 3, No 36 and No 37 squadrons will donate toys to the JASDF for chil­dren affect­ed by the recent tsunami. 

Aus­tralia and Japan signed an Acqui­si­tion and Cross-Ser­vic­ing Agree­ment in May last year. This week’s vis­it is the first since the Agree­ment was signed and reflects the grow­ing strength of Australia’s bilat­er­al part­ner­ship with Japan con­tribut­ing to peace, secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty in the Asia-Pacif­ic region. 

Exer­cise Red Flag Alas­ka 11–2 was con­duct­ed from US Eiel­son Air Force Base, between 4 and 22 July. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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