Four Typhoon fighter aircraft, flown by No 2 (AC) Squadron pilots from RAF Lossiemouth, arrived at Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) Misawa Air Base, in the northern part of the island of Honshu on 22nd October. An RAF Voyager from RAF Brize Norton provided air-to-air refuelling during the 3,500 mile (5,600km) non-stop flight from Malaysia.
This marks the first bilateral exercise ever in Japan for the JASDF to host with foreign military other than the U.S. The Exercise, named “Guardian North 16”, represents an opportunity for both air forces to learn from each other and develop their skills.
RAF and JASDF exercising together in Japan delivers on an agreement made in January at the Foreign and Defence Ministers Dialogue (2+2). F-15 fighters from Northern Air Defense Force (Chitose) Air Base (Hokkaido), and F-2 fighters from Northern Air Defense Force, Misawa Air Base will take part.
The Typhoons are being supported throughout the detachment by RAF C-17 transport aircraft carrying essential engineering equipment.
The Typhoons flew in from Malaysia, following completion of Exercise Bersama 16, the Five Powers Defence Arrangements (FPDA) Exercise, which ran from 4-21 October. The Typhoons, flying from from RMAF Butterworth in Malaysia, flew Air Combat Sorties with the other 4 FPDA nations — Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand.
Exercise Bersama Lima was the first stage of Eastern Venture. The RAF Typhoons are scheduled to leave Japan for South Korea on November 6th for the final leg of the tour — the first-ever UK-Republic of Korea Fighter Exercise, named Invincible Shield, hosted at Osan Air Force Base.