Hundreds of airmen from Kadena AB, Japan, plus 18 F-15Cs and some E-3 AWACS and KC-135 tankers from the base, flew to Andersen AFB, Guam, for a two-week training exercise. The time on Guam is meant to bolster the expeditionary skills of the Kadena pilots, maintainers, and support personnel, and give them the chance to practice with assets at Andersen, like B-52s, with which they don’t always have the chance to work, according to Andersen’s Aug. 20 release. Flying from Andersen also frees them of the airspace restrictions back home. “We don’t get many opportunities to fly with long-range strategic bombers such as B-52s, and though the E-3 aircraft are stationed at Kadena, they are frequently tasked with higher headquarters missions, so we have limited options to integrate with them,” said Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot, commander of Kadena’s 67th Fighter Squadron, who is leading the Kadena expeditionary contingent. (Andersen report by A1C Emily A. Bradley)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.