A squad of Reservists from the Texas Marine Corps (United States) recently began training to fly on-board Hornet F / A-18 fighters, equipped with Harpoon anti-ship missiles, from Iwakuni Air Force Base in Japan. , Rotary reported on Tuesday Stars and stripes from the US Department of Defense.
The report includes statements from Major Kenneth Kunze and states that the 112th Fighter Squadron took off on October 19 for its second mission with AGM-84D Harpoon anti-ship missiles with a range of 120 kilometers and a 220-kilogram warhead.
In addition, according to Kunze, the actual missile training flights also send a message to the region.
Cowboys conduct flight operations with Harpoon missiles.A US Marine Corps F / A-18 Hornet with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112 – Marine Aircraft Group 41 – 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Japan, October 19, 2021.📸 Sgt. Booker thomas#USMC# F18#Harpoonpic.twitter.com/TelwXoMznZ
– The Quarter of the Dead (@TheDeadDistrict) 21 October 2021
“Conducting operations like this demonstrates our strong commitment to our partners and allies in the region and communicates that we are ready to ‘fight now’ to defend a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the statement read. of the Corps spokesperson. US Marines cited by Stars and Stripes.
The “first island chain”, as the specialized media define the area where US fighter jets operate, represents a geographic barrier between China, the Pacific Ocean and the Philippine Sea and includes the four main islands of Japan – the Ryukyu Islands. -, Taiwan and the Philippines. Its strategic naval “bottlenecks” are considered essential to any conflict in the region.
In addition to the Texan reserve fighter jets deployed, the US Marine Corps has two squadrons of F-35B Lightning II stealth fighters and a squadron of KC-130J Super Hercules aerial refuelers, also stationed in the area. in Iwakuni. The base is also home to seven 5th Air Wing squadrons attached to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.
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