Home Americas US F-35B carrier trains with Japanese F-35As in western Pacific

US F-35B carrier trains with Japanese F-35As in western Pacific

USS America with JASDF F-35As
Photo: US Navy

The lead ship of US Navy America-class amphibious assault ships, USS America (LHA 6), joined Japanese F-35A fighter aircraft for advanced combined operations in the western Pacific Ocean.

America conducted integrated air defense operations on Oct. 20 with F-35A Lightning II aircraft from the Japan Air Defense Command. The training operations were designed to increase the tactical proficiency, lethality and interoperability of the amphibious forces of the America Expeditionary Strike Group and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) in the maritime domain.

“The US-Japan alliance has been the cornerstone of stability and security in the Indo-Pacific for more than sixty years,” said Capt. Luke Frost, America’s commanding officer. “We have no more capable partner in the world than the Japan Self Defense Force. Every opportunity we have to continue to train and exercise together improves our interoperability and strengthens our joint integrated capabilities.”

Our alliance will continue to play that role in the future. Operations included advanced tactics, techniques and procedures to exercise command and control in employing the F-35A Lightning II in air defense and sea control.

“These are the most advanced capabilities to ever sail or fly. America is a fifth-generation amphibious assault platform, built from the keel up to optimize the most advanced capability of the fifth-generation F-35 platform. We are forward-deployed to integrate exactly these advanced capabilities with Japan, recognizing the importance of our alliance and working together to maintain regional peace and stability,” said Frost.

“The training proved to be a very significant opportunity for us,” said Col. Shinichi Nomura, flight group commander, 3rd Wing, Japan Air Self-Defense Force. “Training with assets of other services is essential to improve interoperability and joint operations capability.”

USS America is forward-deployed to US 7th Fleet area of operations in Asia Pacific, as the fleet’s forward-deployed amphibious assault carrier. America arrived in Japan in December 2019.