By Valerie Insinna
February 5, 2018
Look at the skies above Kadena Air Base on the Japanese island of Okinawa and twice daily you’ll get a glimpse of U.S. Air Force F-35 fighter jets taking off, only to land several hours later. Watch the base itself and you’ll see maintainers working round the clock to ensure the service’s newest fighter jets are ready to go.
It’s been about three months since more than 300 airmen relocated from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to Japan for the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing model’s first-ever stint in the Asia-Pacific. The first of 12 jets arrived at Kadena in late October for a six-month deployment — the longest period the 34th Fighter Squadron has spent away from home.
Although the Lockheed Martin-manufactured jets haven’t made a lot of news since their arrival in Japan, the pace of operations has been relentless.[FULL ARTICLE]