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USAF, JGSDF conduct jump training, strengthen Yokota interoperability

U.S. Air Force Capt. Michael Pyles

U.S. Air Force Capt. Michael Pyles, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilot, performs a visual confirmation over Mount Aso, Japan, July 16, 2019, during flight training mission. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade prepare to board a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade board a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade board a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade get off a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Tsuiki Air Base, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier with the 1st Airborne Brigade

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier with the 1st Airborne Brigade waits for his troop in front of a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Tsuiki Air Base, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade, direct the boarding on a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Tsuiki Air Base, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade board a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Tsuiki Air Base, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sean Simard, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sean Simard, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, performs a headcount before Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade board a U.S. C-130J Super Hercules at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Tsuiki Air Base, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sean Simard, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sean Simard, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, high-fives a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force solider assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Tsuiki Air Base, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade
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A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade boards a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Tsuiki Air Base, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force solider assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade
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A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force solider assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade secures his jump gear over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sean Simard, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sean Simard, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, performs a visual confirmation over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade
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Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade look outside before conducting a jump from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman William Griffin, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster,
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman William Griffin, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, communicates with his crewmembers over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Seth Sarrett, 374th Operations Support Squadron Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist
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U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Seth Sarrett, 374th Operations Support Squadron Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, performs a visual confirmation over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman William Griffin, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman William Griffin, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, observes a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade conduct jumps from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Seth Sarrett, 374th Operations Support Squadron Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist
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U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Seth Sarrett, 374th Operations Support Squadron Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, uses hand signals to communicate with Japan Ground Self-Defense Force paratroopers assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade as they prepare to exit a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade
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A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade is ready to jump from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade
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A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade jumps from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier
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A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade jumps from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade
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A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade is ready to jump from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier
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A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade jumps from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Water Frank and Senior Airman Jaime Suarez, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmasters
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(Right to left) U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Water Frank and Senior Airman Jaime Suarez, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmasters, perform visual confirmations after Japan Ground Self-Defense Force paratroopers assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade jump from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. James Huntsman, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster
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U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. James Huntsman, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, performs a visual confirmation after Japan Ground Self-Defense Force paratroopers assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade jump from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules over Hiju-dai exercise area, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Evan Taylor and Capt. Michael Pyles, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilots,
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(Left to right) U.S. Air Force Capt. Evan Taylor and Capt. Michael Pyles, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilots, conduct flight training over Mount Aso, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron conducts flight training
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A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron conducts flight training over Mount Aso, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Evan Taylor and Capt. Michael Pyles, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilots
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(Left to right) U.S. Air Force Capt. Evan Taylor and Capt. Michael Pyles, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilots, fly over Kyushu, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron conducts flight training
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A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron conducts flight training over Mount Aso, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Evan Taylor and Capt. Michael Pyles, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilots
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(Left to right) U.S. Air Force Capt. Evan Taylor and Capt. Michael Pyles, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilots, conduct flight training over Mount Aso, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron conducts flight training
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A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron conducts flight training over Mount Aso, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Evan Taylor and Capt. Michael Pyles, 36th Airlift Squadron pilots
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(Left to right) U.S. Air Force Capt. Evan Taylor and Capt. Michael Pyles, 36th Airlift Squadron pilots, conduct training over Mount Aso, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron conducts flight training
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A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron conducts flight training over Mount Aso, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a bilateral jump training. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Michael Pyles, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilot
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U.S. Air Force Capt. Michael Pyles, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilot, performs a visual confirmation over Mount Aso, Japan, July 16, 2019, during a flight training mission. The training allows USAF and JGSDF units to work alongside each other while improving the readiness of our armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Since the exercise Keen Sword 19 last year, Airmen from the 374th Operations Group, Yokota Air Base, and Soldiers from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, 1st Airborne Brigade, kept a focus on strengthening ties between the two by executing airborne proficiency operations with combat readiness and interoperability.

The two military forces just completed jump training at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, during the exercise Arctic Aurora, June 2019. Both members met again at Yokota Air Base to conduct jump training observed by U.S. Air Force Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) specialists form the 374th Operations Support Squadron on JGSDF Hiju-dai drop zone, Oita prefecture, Japan, July 16, 2019.

“Bilateral training missions are important because they improve the working relationship between the U.S. crewmembers and our host nation partners.” said Capt. Evan Taylor, 36 AS C-130J pilot and a mission commander. “Also, they allow unique training opportunities for both allies as we share different techniques from those normally utilized.”

The training mission: Over 80 JGSDF paratroopers boarded two USAF C-130J Super Hercules at Yokota AB and flew over the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) Tsuiki Air Base at Fukuoka prefecture. The JGSDF paratroopers geared up there and conducted airdrop training from the C-130Js.

“A valuable lesson from this training mission was coordinating with the JGSDF to employ an airdrop procedure called a Verbally Initiated Release System (VIRS), which the USAF does not typically employ.” said Taylor. “Usually, U.S. C-130Js use a Computed Air Release Point (CARP) technique to airdrop paratroopers, where the plane’s computer automatically analyzes winds and guides pilots to fly to a point in space to begin the airdrop.”

The VIRS is a method where a ground controller analyzes the drop zone winds, then directs the aircraft using radio communications to fly over a pre-determined point, and then commands “execute execute execute” to begin an airdrop operation.

“The ability to operate with the JGSDF allowed U.S. crewmembers a unique opportunity to employ an airdrop technique during the airdrop training mission that U.S. crews do not normally get to practice.” said Taylor.

USAF SERE specialists assigned to the 374 OSS assisted as jumpmasters during the airdrop training mission.

“There is really no issues working with the JGSDF paratroopers. They communicate well on the aircraft and use the same signals as we do.” said Tech. Sgt. Seth Sarrett, 374 OSS SERE specialist and jumpmaster. “It was good training for both sides and no simple feat with 80 jumpers from two C-130Js on a tactical DZ.”

Overall, the training mission was a success. The 36 AS crewmembers were able to drop all of the JGSDF paratroopers, using two different airdrop procedures. Also the training improved interoperability between USAF and JGSDF.

“This training enables further understanding of our allies’ capabilities and strengthen bonds between our forces.” said Taylor.