Gens' aerial exchange: Demonstrating alliance, friendship
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- As a testament to the strong friendship and alliance between the U.S. and Japan, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John Dolan, U.S. Forces Japan commander, and Japan Air Self-Defense Force Lt. Gen. Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, Air Defense Command commander, came together for a bilateral exchange flight here, Oct. 14.
The exchange involved Dolan flying onboard a JASDF Mitsubushi F-2, while Sugiyama flew onboard one of Misawa's F-16 Fighting Falcons.
During his visit, Dolan recognized the recent move by the Japanese legislature in setting a new path for the Japanese military, but reassured a strong continued alliance between the U.S. and Japan. He also spoke of the strong symbol of peace and alliance Misawa AB stands for.
"One thing we can enjoy here is the outstanding hospitality and support of the local citizens," said Dolan. "You can't find a better partner and a better neighbor than Misawa."
Both generals also saw this flight as an opportunity to demonstrate the air superiority and the interoperability of their forces, which serve to ensure peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.