USS America Conducts Integrated Operations with Japanese F-35s
(Source: US Navy; issued Oct 23, 2020)
Two F-35As belonging to the Japan Air Self Defense Force fly over the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during an exercise in the Pacific. America carries Marine Corps F-35B fighters, and leads a ready response force in the Indo-Pacific region. (USN photo)
The first-in-class amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) participated in advanced combined operations with Japan this week 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 advanced 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 U.S.-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 and the Japan Self Defense Forces operate routinely together in the Indo-Pacific to strengthen a shared commitment to regional stability and a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“I am assured that our participation not only contributed to improving tactical skills, but also confirming the robust Japan-U.S. alliance and commitment to the Indo-Pacific region,” said Nomura. “We will continue moving forward and further strengthen the Japan-US alliance and partnership.”

America, flagship of the America Amphibious Ready Group, is forward-deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to support stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

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