RAF deploy to Japan for historic military exercise

raf-typhoon-fgr-4-misawa-air-base-japan-guardian-north-16

Official photograph of RAF and JASDF personnel following arrival of No.II(AC) Squadron to Japan (JASDF/Tokyo Embassy via Twitter)

Four Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon FGR.2s of No.II (AC) Squadron have arrived in Japan to participate in a military exercise with their Japanese hosts as part of an ongoing effort to strengthen security ties between the two countries. The four Typhoons arrived at Misawa Air Base in Northern Japan on Saturday having deployed from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland. The four Typhoons are being supported by a Voyager refuelling aircraft and up to 200 personnel.

The exercise, Guardian North 16, will see the RAF fighters pitted against the Japan Air Self Defence Force’s (JASDF) premier fighters namely the F-15 Eagle and the Japanese manufactured Mitsubishi F-2 (a development of the American F-16 Fighting Falcon). Guardian North 16 will not be the end of the RAF deployment in Asia however as the Typhoons will then move on to South Korea for yet more exercises this time with the Republic of Korea Air Force.

Wing Commander Roger Elliott of No.II (AC) Squadron told reporters;

This is the most ambitious deployment that the Typhoon Force has ever done. I think it’s probably the most ambitious deployment that the Air Force has done to the Far East…We will learn from each other, and ultimately we will make friendships that will tie us together more closely in the future.

The Japanese Defense Ministry told CNN;

Conducting this exercise in Japan will help in strengthening the UK’s commitment in the Asia Pacific region and increasing other European countries’ interest in the security situation in Japan and the Asia Pacific region.

The ministry denied that the deployment was in response to any specific threat in the region. This comes in the wake of fresh protests against North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and China’s ongoing claim to the Senkaku islands which Japan controls. In August of this year nearly 230 Chinese fishing boats supported by armed Chinese Coast Guard ships approached the disputed islands in what Japan considered an act of intimidation.

The RAF Typhoons are scheduled to leave Japan for South Korea on November 6th.

 

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10 responses to “RAF deploy to Japan for historic military exercise

  1. I was quite surprised when I read this. It will be an historic trip, and a great opportunity for the RAF and Japanese fighter crews to train together and test their mettle against each other on exercise in the Pacific Region.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this is a great idea, to train with the Japanese will help cement relations that have remained strained since the end of the Second World War. To compare the typhoon against other aircraft and nationalities can only help improve our own strategies and tactics. It will of course, as you add, add further strength to the Far Eastern defences. Be interesting to see how they fair.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Royal Navy’s new carriers will deploy to Pacific to exercise freedom of navigation | Defence of the Realm

  4. Pingback: China warns UK about sending new carriers to the South China Sea | Defence of the Realm

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