An F-15C Eagle assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker to receive aerial refueling while flying in support of a bilateral exercise with the Japan Air Self Defense Force over the Pacific Ocean, Sept. 15, 2022. Bilateral training builds trusting relationships among foreign and domestic forces and ensures the 18th Wing and host-nation allies are able to come together to effectively respond to demanding scenarios. Starting in November, the Department of Defense will commence a phased withdrawal of F-15 C/D aircraft forward-deployed to Kadena Air Base over the next two years. The U.S. will continue to maintain a steady-state presence at Kadena by deploying newer and more advanced aircraft to backfill the F-15s as they retire. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessi Roth)
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