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US Navy, Air Force stage integration drills off Japan

US Air Force aircraft over USS Ronald Reagan
Photo: US Navy

The US Navy and Air Force are conducting joint integrated training off the coast of Northern Japan, after drills started on August 1.

Participating units include the Ronald Reagan carrier strike group, Navy Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131, and the Air Force 35th Fighter Wing.

Integrated training includes air-to-air operations, combat search and rescue drills, and air defense exercises to increase joint force capability to respond to regional contingencies.

“Our ability to integrate our air force brothers and sisters in the air anywhere in the Indo-Pacific theater is unmatched,” said Capt. Michael Rovenolt, commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5. “Our integration provides enhanced capabilities and readiness in support of our enduring commitments to our allies and partners.”

The US Navy regularly conducts exercises with other US military branches in the Indo-Pacific to build and maintain warfighting readiness that is responsive, flexible, and honors enduring commitments to mutual defense agreements with regional allies and partners.

“Improving interoperability with our navy counterparts and increasing our collective capabilities better prepares the joint team to meet our commitments in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Col. Jesse Friedel, 35th Fighter Wing commander. “We are dedicated to building a networked security architecture capable of deterring aggression, maintaining stability and ensuring free access to waterways.”

“Integrating our mission sets, especially between VAQ-131 and the 13th and 14th Fighter Squadrons here, has been especially rewarding to witness, as both squadrons focus on the suppression of enemy air defenses. Flying together provides the most accurate training sight picture for our aircrews, ensuring we can meet the needs of this region if and when called upon.”

The Ronald Reagan CSG is underway with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the guided-missile destroyer USS Antietam (CG 54) and squadrons assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 embarked aboard Ronald Reagan.