Building Partnerships

F-22 Raptors and F-15 Eagles based at Kadena AB, Japan, trained on defense counter-air and multi-lateral integration operations with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force earlier this month. It was the first time such training was conducted since the F-22s arrived from Langley AFB, Va., in January. “Nothing but goodness can come out of [joint training], because if we do end up going to war, that’s the way we are going to fight,” said Lt. Col. Darren Gray, 94th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron F-22 instructor pilot, in an April 16 release. Although the training was a success, communication between US and Japanese force is sometimes challenging. “Because communication is so important in air-to-air combat, where everything is so dynamic, if you say the wrong thing at the wrong time, it could have catastrophic results and can lead to mission failure,” said Gray. He added, “If I tried to fly while speaking Japanese, we’d have no chance at success … They executed the contracts and did everything we expected them to do, and they are professional aviators.”