Hedge-Hopping Neighbors

UH-1N helicopter pilots at Yokota AB, Japan, recently hosted their Japanese Ground Self Defense Force counterparts on a fly-along interoperability sortie. “The objective for this is to help introduce [the JGSDF] to our procedures and how we fly our helicopters and help us understand how they fly theirs,” said Capt. Thomas Powell, 459th Airlift Squadron operations boss at Yokota, in a Feb. 5 release. JGSDF operates similar UH-1 helicopters from neighboring Camp Higashi-Tachikawa, west of Tokyo. “The big thing is to get the terminology correct between the two of us” in the event that the neighboring units need to cooperate on disaster relief, humanitarian, or military missions, Powell said. “For us, it was extremely helpful to have a clear understanding of the tactics and equipment … and how they differ from ours,” said JGSDF pilot Capt. Fujimoto. A pair of USAF UH-1Ns demonstrated various formations and maneuvers during the Jan. 29 sortie.