Misawa participates in Keen Sword 23

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt Jao'Torey Johnson
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. military and Japan Self-Defense Forces performed training in support of Exercise Keen Sword 23 at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 10-19, 2022.

KS23 is a joint, bilateral field training exercise designed to enhance U.S.-Japan combat readiness and interoperability while demonstrating the U.S. resolve to support the security interests of allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

Military installations throughout Japan participated in a comprehensive scenario designed to exercise the critical capabilities required for defense, crisis, and contingency responses. For Misawa, the scenario included the simulated destruction of the base, which caused 12 F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 13th Fighter Squadron to enact agile combat employment tactics as they relocated operations to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s Hyakuri Air Base in Yozawa, Japan. 

“The National Defense Strategy desires agile forces,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Keith Mansfield, F-16 pilot assigned to the 13 FS. “This exercise is a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate our ACE capabilities as well as strengthen our bilateral and joint partnerships.”

Misawa hosted members of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps as they worked with their counterparts in the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force to train in emergency evacuations, aerial strikes, and ground combat operations. Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from the Air Force Special Operations Command, Army Special Operations Forces, and Japan Self-Defense Forces utilized Draughon Range, near Misawa AB, to conduct bilateral close air support training, coordinating calls-for-fire from AC-130J Ghostrider aircraft assigned to the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.

"U.S. Military and Japanese Self-Defense Force leaders partnered for crucial training at Misawa Air Base's Draughon Range during exercise KEEN SWORD 23," said Rear Adm. Jeromy Williams, Commander, Special Operations Pacific. "KEEN SWORD is a concrete example of the strength of the U.S.-Japan Alliance, which has been the foundation of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region for almost 75 years."

KS23 provides a biyearly opportunity to demonstrate to the world the U.S. commitment to defend Japan and the fortified nature of the U.S.-Japan Alliance.