The in Japan said Wednesday that it has begun training with its newly arrived F-35 fighter jets near the southern island prefecture of Okinawa this week, although details were not disclosed for security reasons.
Ten F-35 fighter jets arrived in Japan in January, marking the first deployment of the cutting-edge stealth aircraft outside the United States. They have been deployed at the Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan.
The 3rd Expeditionary Force, which leads the U.S. in Japan, called the activity that began this week “regularly scheduled training.”
It also said in a press release that the fighters will “operate on a transient basis out of Corps Air Station Futenma and Kadena Air Base,” both in Okinawa.
The F-35B fighters, the variant of the F-35 plane, are capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings. They are equipped with high-performance radar that can detect ballistic missiles and are capable of escaping radar detection.
They are successors to the F/A-18 Hornet and AV-8 Harrier jets that are currently based at Iwakuni. A total of 16 F-35Bs are scheduled to be deployed at Iwakuni.