The Royal Australian Air Force has recently deployed F-18A/B Classic Hornets from No. 77 Squadron to Japan for Exercise Bushido Guardian 19, the first ever bilateral air combat exercise hosted by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).
Conducted primarily from JASDF bases in Chitose and Misawa, Exercise Bushido Guardian 19 involved participants from the RAAF Air Combat, Air Mobility, Surveillance and Response, and Combat Support Groups exercising alongside Japanese counterparts.
It provided a number of training opportunities between the JASDF and RAAF, including air combat tactics and manoeuvre and further enhanced the relationship between Australia and Japan.
Air Force deployed support aircraft and seven F-18A/B Classic Hornet fighter aircraft to participate in the exercise.
The deployment was supported by KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft, providing personnel transport and air-to-air refuelling capability; and a C-17A Globemaster and C-130J Hercules providing heavy airlift capability.
Air Commander Australia, Air Vice-Marshal Joe Iervasi said the exercise offered great training benefits and was a chance to enhance shared cooperation and military appreciation.
“Exercise Bushido Guardian 2019 will offer opportunities for Australia and Japan to not only test and evaluate existing interoperability, but also to increase mutual awareness on force generation requirements, including long-range deployment and sustainment practices,” AVM Iervasi said.
The exercise was supposed to take place last year, but it was postponed due to the Hokkaido earthquake in Japan last September.
For a look at the latest action from Bushido Guardian, scroll through the image gallery above.