Ready, set, demo

The PACAF F-16 Demo Team preps for a two-day airshow at Nyutabaru AB.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Richard Smeeding, the Pacific Air Forces F-16 Demonstration team pilot, carries his helmet bag to his jet at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Nyutabaru Air Base, Japan, Dec. 1, 2017. The team arrived almost a week prior to the Nyutabura Air Show, to ensure proper preparation for the two-day air show and to execute a training scenario alongside Nyutabaru AB's F-15Js. The PACAF Demo Team based at Misawa Air Base, Japan, promotes positive relations between the United States and nations across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

The PACAF F-16 Demo Team preps for a two-day air show at Nyutabaru Air Base.

A headset sits on top of a jet while U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Pedrick, a Pacific Air Forces F-16 Demonstration Team crew chief, climbs a ladder at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Nyutabaru Air Base, Japan, Dec. 1, 2017. Pedrick, along with the rest of the team of 12, worked all day to ensure the jets were in top-notch shape for the two-day Nyutabura Air Show. The PACAF F-16 Demo Team, based at Misawa Air Base, Japan, promotes positive relations between the United States and nations across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

The PACAF F-16 Demo Team preps for a two-day air show at Nyutabaru Air Base.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Pedrick, left, Tech. Sgt. Byron Cole, middle, and Staff Sgt. Charles Bolles, right, Pacific Air Forces F-16 Demonstration Team crew chiefs, practice a dry run demonstration at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Nyutabaru Air Base, Japan, Dec. 1, 2017. The PACAF F-16 Demo Team will be performing at a two-day air show at Nyutabaru AB. The crew arrived almost a week early to get a better sense of where the air show spectators will be in relation to the geographic references and to execute a training scenario alongside Nyutabaru AB's F-15Js. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

The PACAF F-16 Demo Team preps for a two-day airshow at Nyutabaru AB.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Dakota Newton, Pacific Air Forces F-16 Demonstration Team safety observer, left, and Staff Sgt. Raphael Eames, a 35th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, right, watch an air demonstration at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Nyutabaru Air Base, Japan, Dec. 1, 2017. As safety observer, Newton is the pilot's eyes on the ground, ensuring the pilot is set up for the next maneuver properly and no birds are in his path. The PACAF F-16 Demo Team will perform at a two-day airshow at Nyutabaru AB. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

The PACAF F-16 Demo Team prepares for a two-day air show at Nyutabaru AB.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Charles Bolles, a Pacific Air Forces F-16 Demonstration Team crew chief, prepares to clean a jet intake after a flight at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Nyutabaru Air Base, Japan, Nov. 29, 2017. Bolles, along with the rest of the team of 12, worked all day to ensure the jets were in top-notch shape for the Nyutabura Air Show, being held Dec. 2-3. The PACAF F-16 Demo Team based at Misawa Air Base, Japan, promotes positive relations between the United States and nations across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

PACAF F-16 Demo Team preps for air show

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Byron Cole, left, a Pacific Air Forces F-16 Demonstration Team crew chief, Master Sgt. Jeff Parker, middle, PACAF F-16 Demo Team superintendent and Staff Sgt. Steven Pedrick, right, a PACAF F-16 Demo Team crew chief, talk after a takeoff at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Nyutabaru Air Base, Japan, Dec. 1, 2017. The crew arrived nearly a week early to get a better sense of where the spectators will be in relation to the geographic references, allowing the demo team to execute a flawless show, as well as to conduct a training scenario with Nyutabaru AB's F-15Js. The PACAF F-16 Demo Team based at Misawa Air Base, Japan, promotes positive relations between the United States and nations across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

The PACAF F-16 Demo Team prepares for a two-day air show at Nyutabaru AB.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon sits on the runway at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Nyutabaru Air Base, Japan, Dec. 1, 2017. The PACAF F-16 Demonstration Team based at Misawa Air Base, Japan, traveled to Nyutabaru AB to perform for approximately 100,000 spectators during a two-day air show. The performance will mark the seventh year the PACAF F-16 Demo Team has performed at Nyutabaru AB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

NYUTABARU AIR BASE, Japan --

The Pacific Air Forces F-16 Demonstration Team, based at Misawa Air Base, Japan, arrived at Nyutabaru Air Base, Miyazaki, Japan, Nov. 29, to participate in the two-day Nyutabaru Air Show, which expects to attract approximately 100,000 spectators.

Continuing their long-standing relationship with Nyutabaru AB, this year marks the demo team's seventh year appearing at the show.

"We have performed at Nyutabaru every year since 2010, and this is my second show here," said Maj. Richard Smeeding, the PACAF F-16 Demo Team pilot and a Colorado native. "It's neat being able to come back and reengage with pilots and continue to build upon these prior relationships we've developed over the years.

He continued by stating these relationships have afforded the U.S. Air Force multiple opportunities to grow closer to their bilateral partners, especially with Japanese Air Self-Defense Force members who fly F-15J's out of Nyutabaru AB.

"We were able to fly against the JASDF's F-15Js in a training scenario, which was a great opportunity," Smeeding said. "That training was actually a direct result of last year's air show. I asked the Nyutabaru wing commander if the demo team could come out a few days before the air show this year to train with the base's assets, and the coordination took off from there.

Smeeding noted the significance of the experience.

"It's not often that we get to fly in a one vs. one setting where we can break down to the smaller elements of how we would fight in a close engagement, understand what their thinking is and ultimately learn from each other, allowing us to better integrate in combat situations."

Even at events that don't offer this kind of training, though, the PACAF F-16 Demo Team plays an integral part in strengthening U.S. ties with its partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Smeeding stated these shows also give the team an opportunity to interact with international militaries, local nationals and represent the Air Force--and the United States as a whole--by being a positive image for these communities in which they perform.

"We are the biggest community engagement tool in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, giving us the opportunity to meet people face-to-face, show them we are a professional organization that works hard, are proud of what we do and really care about the people for whom we perform," Smeeding said.

Eight aircrew members and one pilot from Misawa Air Base, Japan, fill out the PACAF F-16 Demo Team. At each show, they execute an aircraft demonstration, which highlights the speed as well as the overall maneuverability of the jet, and a ground show, which displays the precision and expertise of the aircrew. 

The show at Nyutabaru AB is the team's eighth and final performance of 2017.

"We have a really well-established team," said Master Sgt. Jeff Parker, the PACAF F-16 Demo Team superintendent and Louisiana native. "A lot of work goes into making sure these air shows are flawlessly executed. We have had two great days of practice and are ready to put on a great show this Sunday for our host nation."