Responding to North Korea’s recent intermediate-range ballistic missile launch, U.S. and allied forces flew a joint mission in Northeast Asia on 30th August.
U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning IIs joined U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers for the first time in a sequenced bilateral mission with Japan and Republic of Korea air forces in Northeast Asia on 30th August.
The mission was conducted in direct response to North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missile launch, which flew directly over northern Japan on 28th August amid rising tension over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development programmes.
The operation involved two B-1Bs from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam; four U.S. Marine F-35Bs from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan; two Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) F-15Js; and four Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) F-15Ks.
Over the course of the 10-hour mission, the F-35Bs, B-1B bombers and Koku Jieitai fighters flew together over waters near Kyushu, Japan. The U.S. and ROKAF aircraft then flew across the Korean Peninsula and practiced attack capabilities by releasing live weapons at the Pilsung Range training area before returning to their respective home stations.