Home » Aviation » Marine F-35s, Air Force Bombers Sortie with South Korea, Japan in Show of Force After North Korea Missile Tests


Marine F-35s, Air Force Bombers Sortie with South Korea, Japan in Show of Force After North Korea Missile Tests

Marine Corps F-35Bs drop ordnance over the Pilsung Range, Republic of Korea on Aug. 30. Republic of Korea Photo

Marine, South Korean and Japanese fighters and two Air Force bombers conducted a show of force operation over Japan and bombing practice over South Korea, U.S. Pacific Command announced on Thursday.

The operation was in reaction to the Aug. 28 North Korean intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan.

The operation consisted of two B-1B Lancers operating from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam; four U.S. Marine F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Forces operating from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force sent two F-15Js and Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) flew F-15Ks Slam Eagles as part of the operation.

During the 10-hour mission, the Marine F-35s, the Lancers and JASDF fighters flew near Kyushu, Japan.

Weapons dropped from U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers and U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II practicing attack capabilities impact the Pilsung Range, Republic of Korea on Aug. 30. Republic of Korea Photo

“The U.S. and ROKAF aircraft then flew across the Korean Peninsula and practiced attack capabilities by releasing live weapons at the Pilsung Range training area before returning to their respective home stations,” read the release.

In a statement, Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commander Pacific Air Forces praised the operation and the message it sent.

“North Korea’s actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland, and their destabilizing actions will be met accordingly,” O’Shaughnessy said in a statement.
“This complex mission clearly demonstrates our solidarity with our allies and underscores the broadening cooperation to defend against this common regional threat. Our forward-deployed force will be the first to the fight, ready to deliver a lethal response at a moment’s notice if our nation calls.”
The F-35s from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 “Green Knights “arrived at MCAS Iwakuni in January and is set to deploy with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit later this year.

U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II fighters assigned to the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan are joined by Republic of Korea Air Force F-15K fighters during a 10-hour mission from Andersen Air Force Base, into Japanese airspace and over the Korean Peninsula, on Aug. 30. Republic of Korea Air Force Photo

“The F-35 embodies our commitment to our allies and contributes to the overall security and stability of the Indo-Asia Pacific region,” said Lt. Gen. David H. Berger, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific said in the Thursday statement.
“By forward-basing the F-35, the most advanced aircraft in the world, here in the Pacific, we are enabling the Marine Corps to respond quickly during a crisis in support of Japan, the Republic of Korea, and all our regional partners.”

U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II fighters assigned to the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan are joined by Republic of Korea Air Force F-15K fighters during a 10-hour mission from Andersen Air Force Base, into Japanese airspace and over the Korean Peninsula, on Aug. 30. Republic of Korea Air Force Photo

  • Duane

    Good to see inter-service combined ops, and demonstrating that we are “ready to fight tonight” – the mantra of our South Korean-based warriors.

    In just a couple years we’ll have several hundred F-35s in theater (forward based and rotationally deployed), operated by the USMC, USN, USAF, South Korea, Japan, and Australia. In addition to our existing squadrons of F-16s, F-15s, Hornets and Super Hornets, and B-1Bs, and others.

    Tip of the spear.

  • PolicyWonk

    Since when did a “show of force” ever work with N. Korea?

    Seems like a waste of perfectly good jet fuel.

    • Mk-Ultra

      Well it also helps to train pilots in the F-35s, test the frames and etc

  • DaSaint

    For a second I misread and thought that the JASDF had participated in bombing attacks at the range in S Korea.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Too bad those stealthy F-35’s and B-1B’s didn’t show up on the North Korean radar screens. I’ll bet they heard their booms though, both sonic and explosive. Dear Leader (Phat Phok Kim) probably spewed Cheerios all over his bunker computer screen.

    • WHOHE

      F-35’s were flying with their luneburg lens which Norks were likely to detect.

  • Ed L

    i would have like to see the data collected during the exercise on The north