Italy-Japan: the joint exercise with the Japanese Kōkū Jieitai concluded

(To air Force)

The mission that saw Air Force aircraft and personnel training together with the Kōkū Jieitai, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). The return journey, which began on Wednesday 9 August, touched Clark (Philippines), Singapore, Malé (Maldives) and Doha (Qatar), to then end in the various bases of origin of the aircraft, specifically Pratica di Mare for the three KC- 767A and for the G-550 CAEW of the 14th wing, Amendola and Ghedi for the four F-35As (three of the 32nd and one of the 6th wing) and Pisa for the two C-130Js of the 46tha air brigade.

The redeployment activities, also supported by the 3rd wing of Villafranca for the Combat Service Support and by 'European Air Transport Command (EATC) for the transport and in-flight refueling aspects, had begun last July 30 and ended on August 4 with the arrival at the Komatsu air base, in the Ishikawa prefecture.

Advanced logistic planning has made it possible to project the operations of the Armed Forces over 10.000 km from home, demonstrating great competence in the air expeditionary field and ability to command and control "distant".

Welcomed in Japan by col. Atsushi Miyake, flight group commander of the JASDF, Col. Luca Crovatti, mission commander redeployment, underlined the symbolic value of the journey, which for the first time had been made in 1920 by the pilots Arturo Ferrarìn and Guido Masiero aboard SVA biplanes, and which this year saw the Air Force bring to the country - as first European nation – the fifth generation F-35 fighters.

Italy and Japan have an important role in this programme, being the only ones to have one Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility outside the United States, as also mentioned in the press conference by gen. SA Alberto Biavati, commander of the air force, present in Japan to underline the value of the exercise within the cooperation relationship between the two armed forces.

The Italian ambassador to Japan, Gianluigi Benedetti, also remarked that collaboration in matters of security and defense is one of the pillars of the relationship between Italy and Japan, confirmed by the intensification of political dialogue and by the participation - together with the United Kingdom - in the development program of the new generation fighter GCAP (Global Combat Air Program). “I came to say hello and congratulate our pilots and airmen – the ambassador told the staff deployed on the occasion of his visit to Komatsu – who, thanks to their presence here, consolidate and further strengthen this collaboration and testify to Italy's concrete commitment to stand by Japan, a strategic partner of the G7, to protect shared values, principles, rules and interests to ensure peace , stability and development in Europe, the Mediterranean basin and the Indo-Pacific".

The training activity, with the Italian assets alongside four F-15s of the 6th wing of Komatsu, themselves supported by a KC-767 of 1st tactical airlift group, saw pilots, flight operators and technicians from the two Armed Forces confront each other, pooling skills and training objectives - especially in terms of interoperability - to share techniques, tactics and operating procedures.

To celebrate this meeting, the JASDF dedicated the livery of one of the F-15s to the Centennial of the Air Force.

“This drill – underlined the gen. knows Alberto Biavati – it falls within the broader partnership between the Air Force and Kōkū Jieitai on advanced training, which already sees the presence of Japanese student pilots at the International Flight Training School. This collaboration allows for the sharing of skills and experiences, favoring the professional, technical and operational growth of the Air Forces of both countries".