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RAF and JASDF first joint exercise

Two Typhoons from No 2 (Army Cooperation) Squadron, Royal Air Force – photo: Crown Copyright 2016©

The Royal Air Force and Kōkū Jieitai (the Japan Air Self-Defense Force) have marked the first joint exercise between the two countries with a ceremony attended by Service Chiefs and Government Ministers during the first week of November. Defense Minister Tomomi Inada joined Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier and his Kōkū Jieitai counterpart, General Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, to congratulate members of both forces on their performance during Exercise Guardian North 16. While the pilots of both forces have carried out complex air intercept training sorties, the engineers and support staff have worked closely with their JASDF counterparts to further develop relationships and capabilities.

General Sugiyama: ‘We have not done any bilateral exercises in Japan with other nations except with the US, and ultimately we are so grateful for this opportunity to host one in Japan with the Royal Air Force; which is one of the most committed services to improving the global security environment.’

An F2 of the Kōkū Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) – photo: Crown Copyright 2016 / JASDF©