ArticleCS - Article View

Navy Super Hornets leave nest, soar skies with Air Force Falcons

U.S. Navy prepare Super Hornets to fly

U.S. Navy personnel prepare three F/A-18E Super Hornets assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni prior to a joint sortie with F-16 Fighting Falcons at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 28, 2018. During the flight, both sets of pilots gained experience and received a better understanding of each other’s techniques, while paving the way for future integration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

Climbing into the Hornets’ nest

U.S. Navy Lt. Matthew Warshaw, a Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 F/A-18E Super Hornet pilot, climbs into the cockpit prior to a joint sortie with F-16 Fighting Falcons at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 28. 2018. VFA-115 recently relocated to MCAS Iwakuni from Naval Air Facility Atsugi in November 2017, which has improved integration opportunities with U.S. Marine Corps and Pacific Air Forces aviation units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

Sister-service integration

An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 13th Fighter Squadron takes off as U.S. Navy Lt. Garrett Sherwood, a Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 F/A-18E Super Hornet pilot, prepares to taxi at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 28, 2018. VFA-115, which recently relocated to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni from Naval Air Facility Atsugi, conducted a defensive counter air sortie alongside F-16 pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Several U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, honed joint-integration tactics with Misawa Air Base’s F-16 Fighting Falcons across Northern Japan skies, Feb. 28.

Falcon and Super Hornet pilots worked together to rapidly plan, execute and debrief a defensive counter air sortie, combining both services' expertise in multirole aircrafts.

“Integrating with the F/A-18s for training proved to be a valuable experience for both the 13th Fighter Squadron and the VFA-115,” said Capt. David Neville, a 13th FS F-16 pilot.

DCA consists of “blue” defensive and “red” attacking air forces simulating real-world adversary tactics. During this flight, the F-16s played the blue force while F/A-18Es engaged as the red forces.

“This experience enhanced joint-integration with U.S. Air Force assets,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Matthew Warshaw, a VFA-115 F/A-18E pilot. “We, as a squadron, have never been here to fly with the 13th FS F-16 pilots and were really excited to do so. We intend to fly more sorties with the Air Force in the future.”

VFA-115 recently relocated to MCAS Iwakuni from Naval Air Facility Atsugi in November 2017, which has improved integration opportunities with U.S. Marine Corps and Pacific Air Forces aviation units.

“This training provided the opportunity to learn with the Navy and share ideas to increase our tactical prowess in a joint atmosphere,” concluded Neville.