Two Japan Air Self-Defense Force pararescuemen from Akita AB, Japan, respond to a simulated downed USAF pilot as a UH-60J Black Hawk flies overhead during exercise Cope Angel 17 at Draughon Range near Misawa AB, Japan, Aug. 9, 2017. USAF photo by A1C Sadie Colbert.
Rescue Exercise Moves to Mainland Japan
The annual combat rescue exercise conducted by USAF airmen and the Japanese Air Self-Defense Forces moved from Okinawa to mainland Japan this year. In past years, Okinawa-based airmen from Kadena AB, Japan, have trained with members of the JASDF to demonstrate interoperability in rescue operations. Last week, airmen from Misawa AB, Japan, participated instead. Cope Angel 17 staged a rescue scenario involving a simulated ejection from a USAF F-16, according to a Misawa press release. JASDF pararescuemen completed the recovery of the stranded personnel by hoisting an airman into an HH-60 Pave Hawk and then transporting him to the 35th Medical Support Squadron at Misawa. “It’s really important we perform trainings like Cope Angel 17 to assess our capabilities to work with the JASDF,” said Capt. Phillip McCoy, an F-16 pilot from the 13th Fighter Squadron, in the release. “It’s very possible they could be the rescue asset for our pilots because if something were to happen and there is a life-threatening situation, time is critical, especially with the extreme weather we can get here in Misawa.”