Japan: Air Force assets arrived at Komatsu

(To air Force)

The Air Force completed yesterday, Friday, August 4, the redeployment in Japan of the assets that will be involved in the joint exercise with the Kōkū Jieitai, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force o Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF).

Departing on 30 July from the bases of Pratica di Mare, Amendola and Pisa, the aircraft made stopovers in Doha (Qatar), Malé (Maldives) and Singapore, where they had to wait two days for the typhoon Khanun lost strength, making the skies of the East China Sea usable again. Three 5th generation F-35A fighters from the 32nd wing of Amendola and one from the 6th wing of Ghedi therefore landed at the Komatsu air base, in the Ishikawa prefecture; three KC-767A, of which two in tanker version for reference in flight and one main body for transporting equipment and personnel, and one G-550 CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) aircraft, multi-sensor system for aerial surveillance and C3 ( Command, Control, Communications) from the 14th flock of Pratica di Mare; a C-130J tactical transport aircraft in oceanic SAR (Search And Rescue) attitude, coming from the 46a Pisa Brigade. A further C-130J in oceanic SAR trim, which escorted the other aircraft to Japan, to then redeploy in Singapore to ensure the return of the Italian assets.

The redeployment over 10.000 km from Italy of such different aircraft, covering all the main technologies of the Air Force, was proof - for the Armed Forces - of advanced skills in the "air expeditionary" and command and control field, as well as concrete demonstration of the variety of valuable assets that make up the backbone of national aerospace power.

"Today is an important and symbolic day for Italian and Japanese aviation" commented Col. Luca Crovatti, mission commander of the redeployment in Japan, referring to the Rome-Tokyo Raid of 1920. “At the time, two brave Italian pilots arrived in Japan after a three-month journey aboard simple biplanes. This year, on the Centenary of the Air Force, we replicated this journey with some of the most advanced assets in the world".

Upon their arrival in Komatsu, the Italian crews were welcomed by col. Atsushi Miyake, JASDF flight group commander, and an F-15J with a special livery dedicated to the Air Force Centennial. In fact, there will be four F-15s from Komatsu's 6th wing, supported by a KC-767 from 1st tactical airlift group, to take part in the training mission which will see the personnel of the two armed forces confront each other and share skills and tactics especially in terms of interoperability.

Col. Crovatti explained: “In the coming days, our pilots, flight operators and technicians will train together with their Japanese colleagues from Kōkū Jieitai, to share techniques, training objectives and operating procedures. Through events like this, and thanks to the collaboration on ambitious technological programs, Italy and Japan will contribute to raising the operational and training standards of the Air Forces of the future”.

The collaboration relations between the Air Force and the JASDF also include the agreement for the advanced training of student pilots at theInternational Flight Training School (IFTS), based in Decimomannu, while, at the government level, Japan - together with the United Kingdom - are Italy's partners in the Global Combat Air Program (GCAP), an international collaborative program aimed at building a next-generation combat air platform for multi-domain operations.