Twelve F-35A Lightning IIs are scheduled to deploy to Japan in November, the first Asia-Pacific deployment of the U.S. Air Force variant of the controversial fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft.
In U.S. Pacific Command’s first operational tasking for the fighter, approximately 300 personnel and 12 F-35As from 34th Fighter Squadron based at Hill Air Force Base, Utah are set to deploy to Kadena Air Base, Japan for a six month rotation in early November, the USAF’s Pacific Air Forces said in a press release.
“The F-35A gives the joint warfighter unprecedented global precision attack capability against current and emerging threats while complementing our air superiority fleet,” said General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander. “The airframe is ideally suited to meet our command’s obligations, and we look forward to integrating it into our training and operations.”
“This long-planned deployment is designed to demonstrate the continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the region,” the release stated.
The U.S. Marine Corps F-35B variant of the aircraft has been stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan since January, 2017.