Two United States Air Force B-1 Lancer strategic bombers proceeded to the South China Sea before returning to Andersen Air Force Base after flying a mission over the East China Sea with their Japanese counterparts, the US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) said.
“Using Andersen Air Force Base, Guam as a power projection platform, two B-1B Lancers assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, flew a mission over the East China Sea with their Japanese counterparts [on July 6],” US PACAF said in a statement.
During the bilateral mission, US Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force units sharpened their combat skills.
PACAF added that the recent mission demonstrates how the US will continue to exercise the rights of freedom of navigation anywhere international law allows.
“Flying and training at night with our allies in a safe, effective manner is an important capability shared between the U.S. and Japan,” said Maj. Ryan Simpson, PACAF chief of bomber operations. “This is a clear demonstration of our ability to conduct seamless operations with all of our allies.”
US PACAF said flights with Japan demonstrate the solidarity between Japan and the US to defend against provocative and destabilizing actions in the Pacific theater.