The US Air Force’s 18th Wing has conducted a no-notice agile combat employment exercise at Kadena Air Base in Japan to test the base’s ability to quickly mobilize units.
Airmen from bases in North Carolina, Idaho, and Alaska were tested to see if the air base is capable of generating airpower at a moment’s notice, with F-15C/D, F-35A, and F-15E aircraft launched to dispersed locations.
The Ever-Ready Base
18th Maintenance Group Commander Col. Randy Schwinler expressed the importance of Kadena Air Base’s readiness to swiftly deploy airpower.
“The array of fighters in this theater provides us with more opportunities to integrate with our regional partners,” he said.
“Pairing those distinct capabilities with [agile combat employment] gives us an increased strategic advantage, ultimately strengthening our combat capability in defense of Japan and the Indo-Pacific region.”
Kadena’s strategic location allows the US to actively support Japan and the Indo-Pacific, bolstering their defenses against evolving threats.
The air base is currently hosting deployed USAF fighter units to supplement the phased withdrawal of its F-A5C/D fleet.
Safeguarding the Indo-Pacific
Kadena has hosted other countries’ air and surveillance missions in an effort to safeguard the Indo-Pacific.
Earlier this month, the Royal Australian Air Force deployed two of its P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the air base to conduct surveillance over North Korea.
This move was sanctioned by the UN Security Council to monitor the state’s illegal nuclear weapons development.