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Generals’ aerial exchange demonstrates alliance, friendship

Lt. Gen. John Dolan, the U.S. Forces Japan commander, and Japan Air Self-Defense Force Lt. Gen. Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, the Air Defense Command commander, thank each other for the opportunity to demonstrate a great show of friendship by making a bilateral exchange flight possible at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 14, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jose L. Hernandez-Domitilo)

Lt. Gen. John Dolan, the U.S. Forces Japan commander, and Japan Air Self-Defense Force Lt. Gen. Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, the Air Defense Command commander, thank each other for the opportunity to demonstrate a great show of friendship by making a bilateral exchange flight possible at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 14, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jose L. Hernandez-Domitilo)

Airman 1st Class Jacob Dudley, a 35th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, secures a strap on a seat for Japan Air Self-Defense Force Lt. Gen. Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, Air Defense Command commander, at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 14, 2015. Sugiyama was preparing to fly in an F-16 Fighting Falcon as part of a bilateral exchange flight with the 13th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jose L. Hernandez-Domitilo)

Airman 1st Class Jacob Dudley, a 35th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, secures a strap on a seat for Japan Air Self-Defense Force Lt. Gen. Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, Air Defense Command commander, at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 14, 2015. Sugiyama was preparing to fly in an F-16 Fighting Falcon as part of a bilateral exchange flight with the 13th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jose L. Hernandez-Domitilo)

Lt. Gen. John Dolan, the U.S. Forces Japan commander, arrives in a Mitsubishi F-2 at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 14, 2015. Dolan had the opportunity to visit with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s 3rd Air Wing and fly in the F-2 alongside a JASDF pilot as part of a bilateral exchange flight. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jose L. Hernandez-Domitilo)

Lt. Gen. John Dolan, the U.S. Forces Japan commander, arrives in a Mitsubishi F-2 at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 14, 2015. Dolan had the opportunity to visit with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s 3rd Air Wing and fly in the F-2 alongside a JASDF pilot as part of a bilateral exchange flight. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jose L. Hernandez-Domitilo)

Japan Air Self-Defense Force Lt. Gen. Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, the Air Defense Command commander, praises Maj. Jessa Charron, a 13th Fighter Squadron pilot, on being an excellent and professional fighter pilot at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 14, 2015. Sugiyama mentioned that this flight has encouraged him in accelerating the study for introducing female fighter pilots in the JASDF. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jose L. Hernandez-Domitilo)

Japan Air Self-Defense Force Lt. Gen. Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, the Air Defense Command commander, praises Maj. Jessa Charron, a 13th Fighter Squadron pilot, on being an excellent and professional fighter pilot at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 14, 2015. Sugiyama mentioned that this flight has encouraged him in accelerating the study for introducing female fighter pilots in the JASDF. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jose L. Hernandez-Domitilo)

Lt. Gen. John Dolan, the U.S. Forces Japan commander, thanks the Japan Air Self-Defense Force pilot that accompanied him on his flight in a Mitsubishi F-2 at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 14, 2015. Dolan also thanked the JASDF’s 3rd Air Wing leadership for their continued friendship and contributions to the alliance between the U.S. and Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jose L. Hernandez-Domitilo)

Lt. Gen. John Dolan, the U.S. Forces Japan commander, thanks the Japan Air Self-Defense Force pilot that accompanied him on his flight in a Mitsubishi F-2 at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 14, 2015. Dolan also thanked the JASDF’s 3rd Air Wing leadership for their continued friendship and contributions to the alliance between the U.S. and Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jose L. Hernandez-Domitilo)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- As a testament to the strong friendship and alliance between the U.S. and Japan, two top military leaders from both nations came together for a bilateral exchange flight here Oct. 14.

The exchange involved Lt. Gen. John Dolan, the U.S. Forces Japan commander, flying onboard a Japanese Mitsubishi F-2, while Japan Air Self-Defense Force Lt. Gen. Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, the Air Defense Command commander, flew onboard one of Misawa's F-16 Fighting Falcons.

During his visit, Dolan recognized the recent move by the Japanese government in setting a new path for the Japanese military, but reassured a strong continued alliance between the two countries. He also spoke of the strong symbol of peace and alliance Misawa AB stands for.

"One thing we can enjoy here is the outstanding hospitality and support of the local citizens," Dolan said. "You can't find a better partner and a better neighbor than Misawa."

Both generals also saw this flight as an opportunity to demonstrate the air superiority and the interoperability of their forces, which serve to ensure peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

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