HomeNewsArticle Display

Kadena, Marine units integrate for large-force exercise

A U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from the 33rd Rescue Squadron flies off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, during a large force exercise June 30, 2015. The exercise, which integrated U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps assets on Okinawa, was designed to allow the units to practice air-to-air capabilities while supporting ground troops. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Maeson L. Elleman/Released)

A HH-60G Pave Hawk from the 33rd Rescue Squadron flies off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, during a large-force exercise June 30, 2015. The exercise, which integrated Air Force and Marine Corps assets on Okinawa, was designed to allow the units to practice air-to-air capabilities while supporting ground troops. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Maeson L. Elleman)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the 44th Fighter Squadron taxis after landing during a large force exercise on Kadena Air Base, Japan, July 30, 2015. The fighter jets were in charge of gaining air superiority while protecting ground troops and rescue helicopters during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zackary A. Henry/Released)

A F-15 Eagle from the 44th Fighter Squadron taxis after landing during a large-force exercise on Kadena Air Base, Japan, June 30, 2015. The fighter jets were in charge of gaining air superiority while protecting ground troops and rescue helicopters during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zackary A. Henry)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kenton Lewis, 33rd Rescue Squadron special missions aviator, simulates hoisting a casualty from the water using a winch aboard a 33rd RQS HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter during a large force exercise near Okinawa, Japan, June 30, 2015. The exercise, which integrated U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps assets on Okinawa, was designed to allow the units to practice air-to-air capabilities while supporting ground troops. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Maeson L. Elleman/Released)

Master Sgt. Kenton Lewis, a 33rd Rescue Squadron special missions aviator, simulates hoisting a casualty from the water using a winch aboard a 33rd RQS HH-60G Pave Hawk during a large-force exercise near Okinawa, Japan, June 30, 2015. The exercise, which integrated Air Force and Marine Corps assets on Okinawa, was designed to allow the units to practice air-to-air capabilities while supporting ground troops. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Maeson L. Elleman)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kenton Lewis, 33rd Rescue Squadron special missions aviator, looks out a window of a 33rd RQS HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter during a large force exercise near Okinawa, Japan, June 30, 2015. During the exercise, numerous U.S. Air Force flying squadrons from Kadena Air Base, Japan, partnered with Vermont Air National Guard F-16 Vipers and U.S. Marine Corps units from Marine Corps Air Station on Okinawa in order to improve interservice interoperability in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Maeson L. Elleman/Released)

Master Sgt. Kenton Lewis, a 33rd Rescue Squadron special missions aviator, looks out a window of a 33rd RQS HH-60G Pave Hawk during a large-force exercise near Okinawa, Japan, June 30, 2015. During the exercise, numerous Air Force flying squadrons from Kadena Air Base, Japan, partnered with Vermont Air National Guard F-16 Fighting Falcons and U.S. Marine Corps units in order to improve interservice interoperability in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Maeson L. Elleman)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- Flying squadrons from Kadena Air Base were a part of a joint service exercise here, with units from the Marine Corps to practice air-to-air superiority while protecting ground troops June 30.

Kadena AB’s 44th and 67th Fighter Squadrons practiced joint air operations with F/A-18 Hornets from the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (All Weather) 225 and several F-16 Fighting Falcons from Vermont Air National Guard's 158th Fighter Wing, while protecting Marine and Air Force helicopters and Marine ground troops.

"Working with the Marines provided an opportunity to see how to integrate the air piece with something on the ground," said Capt. Nathan Franklin, a 33rd Rescue Squadron pilot. "This is the first LFE I've been in that actually had a ground piece incorporated into an exercise. It was an interesting thing to see."

An important piece of the exercise was to practice air-to-air capabilities of deterrence while protecting ground troops and the rescue helicopters, all at the same time.

With the fighters halting any air offensive and preventing any further attack from overhead, it allowed the ground troops and the rescue helicopters to complete their mission without any fear of reprisal from the air, Franklin said.

"This exercise validated the tactic used," Franklin continued. "As long as we have rescue combat air patrol along with the fighters in the air, the enemy just doesn't have time to worry about what we are doing below, which means we can push forward and support them better."

It takes that cooperation between fighters, both Air Force and Marine, and helicopters to work together in order to make the mission as successful as possible.

"The Marines often work by helicopter insertion in order to take advantage of the element of surprise as well as improved mobility," said Marine Corps Capt. Chester Watts, the VMFA(AW)-225 schedules officer. "However, some threats both air-to-air, and surface-to-air make that too risky, which is why we have fighters responsible for eliminating those threats."

It's that flawless integration of both aircraft and U.S. services that provides for the common defense of Japan and the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
.@TeamEglin #Airmen drive innovation, increasing safety while saving money. https://t.co/xo30mkcHMg
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: Callie is chillin’ with our CSAF 😎 @GenDaveGoldfein meets Callie, the only search-and-rescue dog in the @DeptofDefense,…
RT @AP_Top25: Secret's out on hard-hitting Air Force linebacker Kyle Johnson: He plans to attend graduate school, go through special forc…
Staff weather officers (SWO) from the 3d Weather Squadron were put to the test during a certification field exercis… https://t.co/wcGL2Dr2a1
RT @INDOPACOM: Man’s best friend is also his best protector, but even #MilitaryWorkingDogs need to retire eventually. The service members o…
RT @USAFHealth: Airmen with the 375th AES were headed to Travis AFB for a training mission, when a passenger on-board their commercial flig…
RT @AFW2: The @AFW2 just returned from the first-ever Warrior Care Event at USAFE! #Warriors are ready to repeat that sucess & build off th…
RT @USNationalGuard: On a frigid commute to work one morning, Master Sgt. John Lawrence, of the @OKGuard, approached a vehicle resting side…
RT @USAFRecruiting: Being a part of the @usairforce means to be a part of a total force. Join us LIVE on Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT to learn mo…
RT @PACAF: The closing ceremony for Pac Angel 19-3 #Mongolia brought together members from the U.S. military, Mongolian Armed Forces, @AusA
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Commander @PACAF Gen Brown & I just arrived in #Vietnam. What an honor to be here. We look forward to meeting Amb Krit…
RT @HQ_AFMC: Congrats to @HAFB for winning a @ENERGY award for #energy efficiency! From facility improvements to solar arrays, the teams at…
RT @AF_TFXC: Training camp is underway for Air Force Cross Country. Tonight, the upperclassman received their #CommitmentKits, symbolic of…
RT @USAFHealth: Lt. Col. Glenn Mandeville's commitment to his community goes beyond his Air Force service and into his everyday life as a g…
RT @AFResearchLab: No, you're not looking through The Predator's helmet, this is a simulated residual stress field due to multi-shot laser…
RT @CoachTimHorton: Congrats to my mentor and former ⁦@AF_Football⁩ Coach ⁦@FisherDeBerry⁩ on being named the recipient of the 6th annual T…
RT @DeptofDefense: Friday reflection. @usairforce airmen prepare to wash an A-10 Thunderbolt II at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The…
RT @OKGuard: Photo of the Day: Four F-16 Vipers from the @138thFW fly in formation behind a @usairforce KC-135 Stratotanker during a sortie…
RT @EielsonAirForce: The last #REDFLAGAlaska of the year ends today! Here’s what the participants accomplished during RF-A 19-3. @RCAF_ARC
RT @DeptofDefense: Picture perfect. A @usairforce airman assigned to a forward area refueling point program, poses in front of a C-17 Glob…