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13th AMU Panthers improve bilateral relations at Komatsu ATR

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Gabriel Contreras, a 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, smiles during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 2, 2019. The ATR gave participants an opportunity to survey and experience the Komatsu airfield, while gaging their ability to operate in a simulated deployed location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Gabriel Contreras, a 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, smiles during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 2, 2019. The ATR gave participants an opportunity to survey and experience the Komatsu airfield, while gaging their ability to operate in a simulated deployed location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ryan Pancheri, a 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chief, shows Maj. Gen. Masahito Monma, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force 6th Air Wing  commander, a nose wheel steering system on an F-16 Fighting Falcon during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 2, 2019. Airmen showed leadership of Komatsu AB the inner workings of the F-16 to increase bilateral relations, shared knowledge and friendship. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ryan Pancheri, a 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chief, shows Maj. Gen. Masahito Monma, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force 6th Air Wing commander, a nose wheel steering system on an F-16 Fighting Falcon during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 2, 2019. Airmen showed leadership of Komatsu AB the inner workings of the F-16 to improve bilateral relations, shared knowledge and friendship. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Edwin Long, a 35th Logistic Readiness Squadron traffic management office outbound cargo supervisor, gives a Japan Air Self-Defense Force member a thumbs up while unloading cargo during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Sept. 30, 2019. During the week-long exercise, participants facilitated F-16 maintenance training, communication practice and bilateral maintenance equipment sharing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Edwin Long, a 35th Logistic Readiness Squadron traffic management office outbound cargo supervisor, gives a Japan Air Self-Defense Force member a thumbs up while unloading cargo during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Sept. 30, 2019. During the week-long exercise, participants facilitated F-16 maintenance training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

A Mitsubishi F-15J flies above a taxiing F-16 Fighting Falcon during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 2, 2019. The 28 stories executed during the ATR gave Wild Weasel’s the ability to learn, train and integrate with their host nation partners while identifying successes and shortfalls. The F-15J is assigned to the 6th Air Wing Maintenance Squadron, Komatsu AB, and the F-16 is assigned to the 35th Maintenance Squadron from Misawa AB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

A Mitsubishi F-15J flies above a taxiing F-16 Fighting Falcon during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 2, 2019. The 28 sorties executed during the ATR gave Wild Weasels the ability to learn, train and integrate with their host nation partners while identifying successes and shortfalls. The F-15J is assigned to the 6th Air Wing Maintenance Squadron, Komatsu AB, and the F-16 is assigned to the 35th Maintenance Squadron from Misawa AB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

Japan Air Self-Defense Force members stand on the flight prior to an F-16 Fighting Falcon training demonstration during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 2, 2019. The week-long exercise included within visual range air-to-air combat, bilateral aircraft recovery, refueling, launching and joint usage and training of aerospace ground equipment. These F-16s assigned to the 35th Fighter Wing relocated from Misawa AB to Komatsu AB for a week-long bilateral training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

Japan Air Self-Defense Force members stand on the flightline prior to an F-16 Fighting Falcon training demonstration during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 2, 2019. The week-long exercise included within-visual-range air-to-air combat, bilateral aircraft recovery, refueling, launching and joint usage and training of aerospace ground equipment. These F-16s assigned to the 35th Fighter Wing relocated from Misawa AB to Komatsu AB for a week-long bilateral training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Gabriel Contreras, a 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, shows members of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force a magnetic chip detector during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 2, 2019. U.S. Airmen trained JASDF counterparts on the inner workings of the F-16 Fighting Falcon to increase the knowledge and interaction of the jet enhancing operation cohesion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Gabriel Contreras, a 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, shows members of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force a magnetic chip detector during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 2, 2019. U.S. Airmen trained JASDF counterparts on the inner workings of the F-16 Fighting Falcon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jesse Reddam, the 35th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment inspection and repair section chief, sets up AGE equipment during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 1, 2019. The week-long exercise included within visual range air-to-air combat, bilateral aircraft recovery, refueling, launching and joint usage and training of AGE equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jesse Reddam, the 35th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment inspection and repair section chief, sets up AGE equipment during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 1, 2019. The week-long exercise included within-visual-range air-to-air combat, bilateral aircraft recovery, refueling, launching and joint usage and training of AGE equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

Six U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons sit on the flight line during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 1, 2019. The pilots spent four days conducting within visual range air-to-air combat training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force pilots increasing tactical strength, friendship and their alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

Six U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons sit on the flightline during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 1, 2019. The pilots spent four days conducting within-visual-range air-to-air combat training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force pilots, improving tactical strength, friendship and their alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Phillip McCoy, a 13th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, dons his face mask before flight during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 1, 2019. Pilots conducted within visual range air-to-air combat training with Japan Air Self- Defense Force pilots aiding in the increase of tactical strength, friendship and alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Phillip McCoy, a 13th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, dons his face mask before flight during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 1, 2019. Pilots conducted within-visual-range air-to-air combat training with Japan Air Self- Defense Force pilots, aiding in the improvement of tactical strength, friendship and alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon sits on the Komatsu flight line during the 2019 Komatsu aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 2, 2019. The ATR gave 13th Fighter Squadron pilots an opportunity to work alongside their host nation counterparts, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, during the 28 within visual range air-to-air sorties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)
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A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon sits on the flightline during the 2019 Komatsu aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 2, 2019. The ATR gave 13th Fighter Squadron pilots an opportunity to work alongside their Japan Air Self-Defense Force counterparts during the 28 within-visual-range air-to-air sorties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

Japan Air Self-Defense Force Maj. Gen. Masahito Monma, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force 6th Air Wing commander, and U.S. Air Force Capt. Phillip McCoy, a 13th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, poses for a photo with an F-16 framed photo during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Sept. 30, 2019. McCoy presented Monma this item as a gift to express his gratitude toward JASDF’s hospitability, support and friendship. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)
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Japan Air Self-Defense Force Maj. Gen. Masahito Monma, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force 6th Air Wing commander, and U.S. Air Force Capt. Phillip McCoy, a 13th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, pose for a photo with an F-16 framed photo during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Sept. 30, 2019. McCoy presented Monma this item as a gift to express his gratitude toward JASDF’s hospitability, support and friendship. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

Members of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force waves at a 35th Fighter Wing F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 3, 2019. JASDF members remained on the flight line with squadron flags and smiles to say goodbye to each F-16 pilot prior to the conclusion and final sortie of the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)
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Members of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force wave at a 35th Fighter Wing F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, during an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Oct. 3, 2019. JASDF members remained on the flight line with squadron flags and smiles to say goodbye to each F-16 pilot prior to the conclusion and final sortie of the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

Airmen with the 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit conducted an aviation training relocation at Komatsu Air Base, Japan, Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.

Approximately 90 Team Misawa members and six U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons traveled to Komatsu AB in support of facilitating bilateral training sorties. The 28 sorties executed during the ATR gave Wild Weasels the ability to learn, train and integrate with their host nation partners while identifying successes and shortfalls.

Airmen faced executing mission requirements in an unfamiliar location with a limited number of home duty station maintenance materials alongside Japan Air Self-Defense Force members.

“Since we’re always refining our combat readiness, ATRs give us an opportunity to survey airfields around Japan, while gauging our ability to operate in a simulated deployed location,” explained Master Sgt. John Turrill, the 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit specialist section chief and the senior NCO Komatsu ATR lead.

The week-long exercise included visual range air-to-air combat, bilateral aircraft recovery, refueling, launching and joint usage and training of aerospace ground equipment.

“Working with our counterparts was mutually beneficial because both parties learned from one another,” expressed Turrill. “Misawa Airmen showed JASDF personnel the functionality of our F-16s in addition to practicing their communication skills and training abilities.”

Turrill added that cross training with host nation counterparts minimizes their mobility footprint, while maximizing tactical strength, friendship and alliance.

“My hope going into this ATR was for the experience to be educational and safe, and we did just that,” explained Capt. Phillip McCoy, a 13th Fighter Squadron F-16 pilot and Komatsu ATR detachment commander. “All participants demonstrated hard work, consistency and dedication regardless of unexpected changes we could not control.”

During the final days of the exercise, ATR participants faced inclement weather; however, that did not hinder the team’s productivity or ability to thrive.

“A tropical storm was heading our way,” explained McCoy. “It might have initially sounded like a setback, but we worked together as a team and made adjustments. I was overwhelmed with the generosity, understanding and flexibility JASDF personnel showed us in regards to sortie schedule changes. Komatsu’s support allowed Team Misawa members to maximize their ATR experience regardless of last-minute changes.”

Turrill added that the cohesion of JASDF and U.S. forces during training exercises like this aids in enhancing in the 50-year-old security alliance maintained by the two nations.

“ATRs allow us the flexibility to perform optimally while interacting with our JASDF partners,” explained McCoy. “Gaining familiarity with this location, equipment and people is pivotal to the success of operating out of this base in the future, if need be. The more integration we do, the stronger we become.”