January 18, 2008 (by SSgt. Vann Miller) - Members of the 14th FS arrived at Hyakuri AB, Japan on January 14 to take part in training designed to test the ability of two of the world's most notable fighter airframes.
Crew chiefs from Misawa AB recover F-16C block 50s #90-0803 & #90-0810 from the 14th FS after landing at Hyakuri on January 17th, 2007. The jets and personnel were participating in an aviation training relocation exercise with the JASDF. [USAF photo by SSgt. Vann Miller]
Members of the 14th Fighter Squadron arrived at Hyakuri Air Base, Japan January 14 to take part in training designed to test the ability of two of the world's most notable fighter airframes.
More than 80 maintainers, pilots, operations and support personnel traveled south of Misawa Air Base to display the 14th FS
's capability to operate and generate aircraft from a forward deployed facility.
"This training opportunity is mutually beneficial to the operations and maintenance groups, as well as our respected allies from our host nation," said Lt. Col. Jay Aanrud, 14th FS
director of operations and detachment commander. "We are able to simultaneously exercise our mobility skills, our sortie generation and production capability, and tactical execution of the F-16."
While visiting the base for this Aviation Training Relocation, U.S. service members had the unique opportunity to showcase their skills and expertise to a new audience, the members of the 7th Air Wing.
"This is the second year the members from Misawa have taken part in this training," said Tech Sgt. Donna Zimmermann, 14th FS operations aviation resource manager. "This training helps prepare me for my Air and Space Expeditionary Force deployment."
Mixed into the regular buzz and flurry of the Hyakuri flight line, the Misawa Airmen unpacked their support equipment and prepared to do their jobs of catching, maintaining and generating mission capable fighters.
With five F-16s participating in the training and eight sorties per day, the members of the 14th FS gave a display of talent comparable to other flag exercises seen stateside, according to Capt. Brandon McBrayer, 14th FS B-flight commander.
"This training may not have the number of aircraft seen at a Red Flag exercise, but the degree of coordination and style of operations is about the same," said Captain McBrayer.
By the first morning, the maintainers and support personnel were up and running, prepared to recover the Misawa aircraft as they touched down on the Hyakuri runway.
On the second day of the ATR
, Colonel Aanrud, along with other pilots, flew the F-16s to Hyakuri Air Base. From the moment he and the other jets landed, there was an immediate interest on part of the local media, according to the 7th AW public relations office. More than half a dozen reporters lined up along the flightline to take photos of the visiting F-16s.
Though the ATR is primarily about training the airmen and pilots, it's a great opportunity to strengthen the trust and support between the U.S. and Japanese alliance.
"The camaraderie and the team building are an added bonus that makes these deployments enjoyable and memorable," said Colonel Aanrud.