Airmen at Misawa AB, Japan, tripled their normal sortie rate during a two-day surge exercise earlier this week. The 35th Fighter Wing rapidly launched its F-16s in a simulated combat environment April 4 and 5, according to a release. Each squadron’s mission rate increased from 20 to 70 sorties a day as the personnel worked 12-hour shifts and launched aircraft from 8 a.m. to midnight. In March, the 35th Fighter Wing practiced a rapid deployment to nearby Kadena Air Base as part of exercise Beverly Sunrise 16-03.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.