F-35 Lightning II Symposium Sparks Bilateral Exchange

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Matthew Kakaris
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II maintainers from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and Edwards Air Force Base, California travelled to Japan to participate in a symposium with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-35 Lightning II maintainers at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, through Sept. 1, 2021.

The symposium allowed U.S. Air Force and JASDF maintainers to discuss best practices when it comes to maintaining F-35s, strengthen the relationship between the partner nations and enhance their capabilities.

“Growing partner capability involves more than just aircraft and equipment – we develop a long-term relationship and sustainment culture. Deep, enduring relationships with allies and partners are what allow us to succeed, and distinguish us from our competitors,” said Maj. Gen. Leonard Kosinski, Fifth Air Force deputy commander. “For the last few decades of war we’ve been fighting as a Coalition team.

From the technology to the training to the fight, the F-35 makes us a stronger Air Force and a better, more fully integrated joint and coalition team.”

Maintainers play a pivotal role in the generation of airpower, anytime, anywhere. Cooperative training, such as this symposium, promotes long-term relationship building in Japan and the Indo-Pacific region.

The knowledge, tactics and techniques discussed between the U.S. and Japanese maintainers will further both countries’ capabilities to utilize their F-35 Lightning II programs to their maximum potential.

“The security environment surrounding our nation is shifting at a rapid speed. The power balance of the international society is becoming even more complicated and uncertainty is growing in the established order,” said Maj. Gen. Tetsuya Araki, JASDF Air Defense Command chief of staff. “I recognize that this is a precious opportunity where we can learn from your force about lessons for F-35 maintenance and operations.”

The F-35 Lightning II is set to be a centerpiece of air operations for both JASDF and the U.S. Air Force in the future. This symposium showcased fifth generation fighters as a step towards enhanced interoperability that will further strengthen the U.S. Air Force and our partnership with JASDF.