The exercise took place Feb. 13 – 17, and allowed members from both services to learn about the different types of operations conducted by each other, as well as the capabilities of the other’s aircrafts.
“Training with a different service is important because when executing the air defense mission it’s integral to know how to adapt and work with members of other branches at a moment’s notice; exercises such as these greatly increase our mission capability and readiness,” said CDR Dan Cochran, VFA-27 Strike Fighter Squadron commander. “Normally when we operate together, the Navy is generally based off of a ship, while the Air Force is land based. This training gave us the opportunity to brief and debrief together, learn from each other and work side by side.”
According to Cochran, opportunities such as these are important teamwork training opportunities, both Navy and Air Force pilots can provide the most effective defense possible by understanding both the capabilities and limitations of their counterparts.
“This is the first time in a while that the 44th has been able to integrate with the Navy at a tactical level; we’ve done a lot of operational level training, but the ability to work at the tactical level allows us to improve our skills in entirely different ways including the defensive counter-air mindset. This allows us to ultimately achieve our objectives,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Jamieson, 44th FS commander. “We learned a lot about how the F/A-18 Super Hornet works, and what part it plays in mission execution in conjunction with the F-15, which helps us to develop tactics, making us more lethal and successful overall.”
According to Jamieson, not only do these types of joint trainings exercises strengthen the U.S. military team, but they also reconfirm to our partner nations that America is always there in every mission, every domain, and in every location .
“The training we are conducting has allowed us to enhance U.S. forces interoperability, which serves to bolster both services’ capability to defend assets and allies in Japan and throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific Theater,” said Cochran.