Misawa Air Base: The USAF and JSADF Cooperation


According to a Japanese Ministry of Defence article published in July 2020, a recent exercise by the USAF and the JASDF was highlighted.

Misawa Air Base is the Koku-Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force)`s only air base operated jointly with the United States. The joint use started in 1958. Currently, there are 15 Koku-Jieitai (JASDF) air units stationed at the base, which is the home of Koku-Jieitai (JASDF) F-35A fighters and U.S. Air Force (USAF) F-16 fighters.

Taking advantage of the fact that it is a base for joint use with the U.S. Forces, the Koku-Jieitai (JASDF) makes constant efforts to improve interoperability, maintain and improve Japan-U.S. joint response capabilities, and promote mutual understanding and communication with the U.S. forces through various exercises and activities.

On June 22nd, 12 F-35A fighters of the 302nd Squadron, 3rd Air Wing, Northern Air Defense Force, Koku-Jieitai (JASDF) participated in an “Elephant Walk” conducted by the USAF’s 35th Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base.

The “Elephant Walk” is a multiple military aircraft taxiing in close formation intended to check and demonstrate the capability for large scale aircraft employment.

Through this “Elephant Walk”, the two countries confirmed the strength of the Japan-U.S. Alliance and the positive relationship between the Koku-Jieitai (JASDF) and the USAF at Misawa Base.