Misawa’s 14th Fighter Squadron takes to the skies of Andersen during ATR event
By Airman 1st Class Mariah Haddenham, 36th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 31, 2013
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam --
Approximately 170 Airmen from Misawa Air Base, Japan, arrived here Oct. 22 for an Aviation Training Relocation Program that helps to manage the noise of training, commonly associated with the F-16 Fighting Falcon, around local communities of their home station in Japan.
The Airmen are with the 14th Fighter Squadron from the 35th Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and are gaining an opportunity to train in a less restricted air space.
"We have to train how we want to perform, and Guam's air space is a great place for us to do that," said Capt. Daniel Toftness, 14th FS flight commander. "There are just things this air space allows us to do that we can't do everywhere else, and that helps us expand our skill set and improve our mission readiness."
Andersen also gets a chance to demonstrate its mission capabilities by acting as a host base, preparing the base for a high operations tempo on the flightline.
"It's a joint effort on everyone's part," said 1st. Lt. Bartholomew Dietrick, 36th Operational Support Squadron operations officer. "Andersen prepares to bring in and accommodate these aircraft, and that helps us gear where we are as a wing and what we can improve upon when acting as a host base."
Andersen has operated as a host base for the ATR program since 2011, when it was selected by a joint Japan-U.S. committee due to the limited flying regulations and close proximity to local populations in Japan.
With approximately five to eight ATR rotations a year from bases such as Kadena AB, Japan and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Andersen plays an important role in supporting approximately 8,000 sorties and more that 4,000 service members each year, shaping the training and abilities of multiple aircraft, the skills of the Airmen and joint partners maintaining them, and pilots operating them.
"Our units operating together helps us maintain an alert posture," Toftness said. "We have to be ready to support the mission, whatever it may be, so given the opportunity to train under new circumstances, we're going to take it, and it can only help us."