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Three airframes, one mission: Misawa PAC Weasel

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon flies over a U.S. Navy Boeing EA-18G during a PAC Weasel exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 19, 2020. This exercise allows 35th Operations Group intelligence Airmen, and the U.S. Navy Electronic Attack Squadron 209 (VAQ-209) to integrate at a classified level. This coordination and sharing of training and operational tactics techniques and procedures (TTPs) is extremely helpful. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon flies over a U.S. Navy EA-18G during a PACIFIC WEASEL exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 19, 2020. This exercise allowed the 35th Operations Group and the U.S. Navy Electronic Attack Squadron 209 (VAQ-209) to integrate and enhance interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock)

Five U.S. Navy Boeing EA-18Gs sit on the flightline during a PAC Weasel exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 19, 2020. The objective of this exercise was to integrate U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force assets to simulate the suppression of enemy air defenses as one cohesive unit, which consisted of 21 aircraft, 16 F-16 Fighting Falcons, four Boeing EA-18G Growlers and a Boeing P-8 Poseidon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock)

Five U.S. Navy EA-18Gs sit on the flightline during a PACIFIC WEASEL exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 19, 2020. The objective of this exercise was to integrate U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force assets to simulate the suppression of enemy air defenses and increase interoperability between the two services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock)

Eight U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons sit on the flightline during a PAC Weasel exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 19, 2020. The F-16s were dedicated to opposition forces, strike missions, SEAD missions and escort missions. Meanwhile, the Growlers focused on the SEAD mission and the P-8 practiced anti-surface warfare, providing radar coverage, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock)

Eight U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons sit on the flightline during a PACIFIC WEASEL exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 19, 2020. Wild Weasel pilots use exercises like PAC WEASEL to sharpen their tactical air capabilities and F-16 maneuverability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock)

A U.S. Navy Boeing EA-18G takes off down the runway during a PAC Weasel exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 19, 2020. During PAC Weasel, pilots practiced flying SEAD missions, escort missions, strike missions as well as anti-surface warfare. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock)

A U.S. Navy EA-18G takes off down the runway during a PACIFIC WEASEL exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 19, 2020. The objective of this exercise was to integrate U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force assets to simulate the suppression of enemy air defenses and increase interoperability between the two services. This exercise incorporated a total of 21 aircraft, to include F-16 Fighting Falcons, EA-18G Growlers and a P-8 Poseidon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock)

A Boeing P-8 Poseidon taxis down the runway during a PAC Weasel exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 19, 2020. Integrating different airframes into our training helps us improve on each other’s capabilities, enhancing our inter-operability. This training provides us with knowledge that would help us if there were ever a real world situation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock)

A U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon taxis down the runway during a PACIFIC WEASEL exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 19, 2020. This exercise consisted of escorting the strikers into the target area in order to drop inert munitions while “taking out” the opposing forces. The pilots used PAC WEASEL as an opportunity to learn from one another, understanding how each service operates at the tactical level. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

Members of the 13th and 14th Fighter Squadrons, the 610th Air Control Flight, U.S. Navy Electronic Attack Squadron 209 and Patrol Squadron One, executed Exercise PACIFIC WEASEL at Misawa Air Base, Japan, over Draughon Range, June 19, 2020.

 

The objective of this exercise was to integrate U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force assets to simulate the suppression of enemy air defenses and increase interoperability between the two services. This exercise incorporated a total of 21 aircraft, to include F-16 Fighting Falcons, EA-18G Growlers and a P-8 Poseidon.

 

VAQ-209’s leadership noted the importance of the joint collaboration.

 

“We are aggressively seeking out every opportunity to advance and strengthen our capabilities and proficiency at conducting joint, all-domain warfighting operations,” said Cdr. Joshua Fagan, Combined Task Force 70 Air Operations officer. “We regularly integrate with joint and partner nation components to exercise and develop tactical interoperability and effects synchronization.

 

The importance of this training in exposing aviators to new capabilities was also reinforced by the Air Force members leading the charge here.

 

“This was a joint large force exercise focusing on SEAD and air interdiction of maritime targets,” said Capt. Adam Starks, the 35th Operations Support Squadron chief of wing intelligence weapons and tactics. “Air Force assets practiced striking simulated naval vessels, enhancing Misawa’s joint capabilities and increasing its readiness.”

 

Wild Weasel pilots use exercises like PAC WEASEL to sharpen their tactical air capabilities and F-16 maneuverability.

 

“Integrating different airframes into our training helps us improve on each other’s capabilities, enhancing our interoperability,” said Capt. Coleman Farrell, a 35th OSS assistant to wing weapons. “This training provides us with hands-on experience that would help us if there were ever a real world situation.”

 

During PAC WEASEL, pilots practiced SEAD, escort, and strike missions as well as anti-surface warfare.

 

This exercise consisted of escorting the strikers into the target area in order to drop inert munitions while taking out the opposing forces.

 

The pilots used PAC WEASEL as an opportunity to learn from one another, understanding how each service operates at the tactical level.

 

“During PAC WEASEL, the desired learning objectives are created by the tactical experts within all the participating units and because of the mission planning activities, execution and debrief produce more tactical and beneficial lessons learned,” said Starks.

 

Starks believes every pilot, controller, and intelligence Airman participating in the PAC WEASEL exercise leaves the final debrief with an enhanced skillset and more operational experience.

 

“This exercise allows 35th Operations Group intelligence Airmen and the U.S. Navy Electronic Attack Squadron 209 (VAQ-209) to integrate and build comradery between the units,” said Starks. “This coordination and sharing of the operational tactics, techniques and procedures is extremely helpful.”

 

The SEAD mission affords aircraft the ability to put bombs on target, ultimately eliminating enemy integrated air defense systems.

 

"This type of integration is extremely helpful because the EA-18G Growler and the F-16 Fighting Falcon are two of the premier SEAD assets for the United States military,” said Starks. “Having the opportunity to practice some of their joint tactics, techniques and procedures is always worthwhile.”