An expanded focus on integration of air and missile defense, an area that is receiving more attention in tabletop exercises, is a cornerstone of the US and Japanese alliance, Pacific Air Forces officials told Air Force Magazine. IAMD, which cuts across the US military services, as well as the Japan Self Defense Force, is focused on joint and bilateral training that helps tie together systems such as anti-missile batteries and radars to the command and control architecture that supports these tools, said USAF Col. Dan Wolf, the head of the Advanced Warfighter Integration office on the PACAF staff. A high-level war game was held in Hawaii earlier this year between US and Japanese forces, he noted. “These exercises have increased and expanded, and are focused on improving joint and bilateral training focused on regional stability,” Wolf said. The US is attempting to move on from just deconflicting assets, such as aircraft and C2, to integrating them as much as possible, he added. The Japanese also have a fairly modernized military that often utilizes many of the same systems, aircraft, and platforms that the US fields.
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.