NEWS | June 10, 2020

US Air Force B-1s, JASDF fighters complete several training missions in one month

By Staff Sgt. Hailey Haux Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

Over the past several months, U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers and B-52 Stratofortresses conducted bilateral training with Koku-Jieitai, or Japanese Air Self-Defense Force assets.

During the month of May B-1s, deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam from the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, supporting Pacific Air Forces’ Bomber Task Force missions.

The BTF is part of a joint U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission. BTFs help demonstrate the United States’ unwavering commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region, and provide significant opportunities to train alongside Allies and Partners.

“Koku-Jieitai has steadily and successfully enhanced bilateral response capability and tactics, techniques and procedures through bilateral training since the deployment of the U.S. B-1B unit,” said Koku-Jieitai Col. Teruaki Fujita, Director of Operations Support Division, Air Staff Office. “We remain committed to bilateral training to achieve strengthened, relationship of trust and to ensure the Alliance to deter and counter threats.”

During training, the two allies conduct a variety of events such as intercept and escort training.

“Working and training with the JASDF strengthens both nations interoperability and sharpens the tactics, techniques and procedures between multiple platforms and nations,” said Maj. Robert Gaiser, 9th EBS director of operations. “This mission in particular was critical to show regional adversaries the United States willingness to conduct operations in international airspace with partner nations.”

In line with the National Defense Strategy’s objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability, the U.S. Air Force transitioned its force employment model to enable strategic bombers to operate forward in the Indo-Pacific region from a broader array of overseas and CONUS locations with greater operational resilience.

Four B-1Bs arrived to Guam May 1 with approximately 200 Dyess Airmen to assist Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts and strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order in the region.

The B-1s from Dyess have conducted a number of missions alongside the Koku Jieitai and U.S. Navy. Most recently, two B-1s conducted bilateral training with eight Koku Jieitai F-15s and eight F-2s in the Sea of Japan May 26.

“These missions display the B-1s ability to hold any target in the region at risk at a time and place of our choosing,” Gaiser said. “Additionally, it shows the regional players the U.S. is willing and able to operate anywhere international law allows. The planning and execution of this mission showed the seamless bi-lateral coordination and strengthened the relationship between Japan and the United States.”

Carrying the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1 can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time.

The B-1's can carry Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles, 2,000-pound class Joint Direct Attack Munitions and the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, giving it an advanced stand-off, counter-ship capability. It also has an advanced self-protection suite and is able to transit at supersonic speeds to enhance offensive and defensive capabilities reassuring allies and aggressively deterring adversaries in the region. 

In addition to operating from a variety of locations, the utilization of BTFs enables a mix of different types of strategic bombers, ensuring bilateral interoperability accounts for any combination of flying operations.

From February to present, JASDF fighters have also integrated with B-52s from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, and Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.

Bomber Task Force operations provide a persistent, bomber presence not only in the Indo-Pacific theater, but around the globe. B-1s deployed from Ellsworth to the European area of operations recently completed integration with a number of NATO allies and theater partner nations, contributing to stability in the European theater.