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F-35 Lightning II Symposium Sparks Bilateral Exchange

Several uniformed people stand in formation in front of a building that reads: Northern Air Defense Force H.Q.

Senior leaders gather at the F-35 Symposium at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2021. The F-35 Lightning II is set to be a centerpiece of air operations for both the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and U.S. Air Force in the future. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Kakaris)

A man in uniform man speaks into a microphone.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Leonard Kosinski delivers opening remarks at the F-35 Symposium between U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35 Lightning II maintainers at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2021. Deep, enduring relationships with allies and partners are what allow us to succeed, and distinguish us from our competitors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Kakaris)

A man in uniform speaks into a microphone.

Japan Air Self-Defense Force Maj. Gen. Tetsuya Araki, Air Defense Command chief of staff, delivers opening remarks at the F-35 Symposium at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2021. 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. (Courtesy photo by Japan Air Self-Defense Force Air Defense Command Public Affairs)

Several people in uniform are seated in a large room. At the front of the room are the American and Japanese flags.

Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) Maj. Gen. Tetsuya Araki, Air Defense Command HQ chief of staff, and U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Leonard Kosinski, Fifth Air Force deputy commander, address the participants of the 2021 F-35 Lightning II Symposium at Misawa Air Base, Aug. 31, 2021. The symposium allowed U.S. and JASDF F-35 Lightning II maintainers to discuss best practices when it comes to maintaining the fifth generation joint strike fighter, strengthening the relationship between the two countries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Kakaris)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

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.