RAF base welcomes visitors from Japan

Thumbs up from Japaense officer Jun Hamaya CON-OFFICIAL-20140722-982 JASDF
Thumbs up from Japaense officer Jun Hamaya CON-OFFICIAL-20140722-982 JASDF

The special links between RAF Coningsby and the Japanese Air Force have been strengthened after a ‘flying visit’ from the Far East.

The Coningsby based 3 (Fighter) Squadron hosted the visit by officers of the Japanese Air Self Defence Force.

The visit to the Lincolnshire base is the second act in an ongoing relationship between the two squadrons, after RAF officers visited Japan last summer.

The three Japanese officers, from the 201st Base, on the Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, have been shown how the RAF uses the Typhoon in its operational capacity.

They also gained an understanding of the ‘synthetic training’ used by Typhoon pilots.

Wing Commander Cab Townsend, Officer Commanding 3 (Fighter) Squadron said: “It has been a great pleasure to host our friends from the 201st after the warmth shown to us when we visited Japan last year.

“This relationship, first established in 1927, remains very strong.

“This week has presented an opportunity to discuss ideas and share experiences between two very similar fighter units.

“Indeed, our approach to QRA and the challenges we have faced in the Baltic region have many parallels to how the Japanese perform similar operational activity.”

There was also time during the visit for the Coningsby squadron members to show off several local attractions including the neighbouring Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Lincoln Cathedral.

And, the menu included that all time British favourite - a plate of good old fashioned pie and chips.

Lt Col Jun Hamaya, Officer Commanding 201 TFS, said “I am proud to bring a small team of my officers to the United Kingdom to visit our friends on 3 (Fighter) Squadron.

“We fly the F-15J in Japan, in a very similar role to that of the RAF’s Typhoon.

“It has been very interesting for us to share ideas and tactics on how this is done in the RAF.

“ Perhaps most importantly is the opportunity to enhance our strong links to RAF Coningsby and I look forward to hosting them back in Japan next year.”