Additional Strike Eagles arrive to aid Kadena Eagle phased return

  • Published
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles from the 391st Fighter Squadron out of Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, arrived at Kadena Air Base, Japan, on April 22, 2023, to ensure continuous fighter presence through the phased return of Kadena’s fleet of F-15C/D Eagles to the U.S.

As the 18th Wing continues the phased return of Kadena’s fleet of Eagles, the Department of Defense will maintain a steady-state fighter presence in the region by temporarily deploying newer and more advanced aircraft to backfill the F-15s as they retrograde.

While deployed to the Keystone of the Pacific, the Mountain Home Strike Eagles will work in conjunction with F-35 Lightning II’s deployed from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, F-15E Strike Eagles deployed from Seymour Johnson, N.C., and the remaining F-15C/D Eagles at Kadena to ensure continued steady-state fighter capabilities in the region.

Together the diverse array of fighters, alongside joint and allied forces, strengthen operational readiness to defend Japan while ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific through a robust presence of dynamic fighter aircraft.

“In coordination with our allies and partners, the Bold Tigers are here to support the 18th Wing to project decisive airpower as well as reinforce regional stability and security," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col Jeremiah "Utah" King, 391st FS commander. "One of America's greatest strengths has always been our network of partnerships and alliances; We're excited to be here in Japan operating side-by-side with our partners in the Indo-Pacific.”

Modernizing capabilities in the Indo-Pacific theater remains a top priority. The transition to more capable aircraft at Kadena exemplifies the DoD’s continued commitment to enhancing posture while building on the strong foundation of the Alliance with Japan.

“Between our permanent party Airmen and our deployed forces, we are well postured to deter, deny, and if necessary, defeat any threat to regional stability and the U.S. homeland,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. David S. Eaglin, 18th WG commander. “The robust combat capability here on the Kadena flightline serves as a powerful deterrent to potential adversaries and offers unique integration opportunities with our allies and partners.”

Throughout these deployments, the wing will continue to comply with applicable bilateral agreements with the Government of Japan regarding noise abatement. All visiting aircrews are briefed on local noise abatement procedures and mission planners will continue to give due consideration to limit local impacts.