US, Japan Launch ‘Counter Offensive’ With F-15, F-16 Fighters In Response To Joint Air Drills By Russiα & China
US and Japan have conducted a tactical joint military exercise in the airspace of the Sea of Japan with the participation of eight fighter jets to demonstrate the allied forces’ readiness to bounce regional threats, the Japanese Joint Staff (JJS)announced on Thursday.
“The JSDF [Japan Self-Defense Forces] and US Armed Forces conducted the Bilateral Exercise as described below. This Exercise affirms the readiness of JSDF and US Armed Forces and further strengthens the capacity of [Japan]-US alliance,” the JJS said in a statement.
The drills were conducted on Wednesday with the participation of four of Japan’s F-15 fighter aircraft and four US F-16 fighters.
“JSDF and US Armed Forces routinely cooperate closely in peacetime and maintain high levels of operational readiness to respond to any situation to defend our nation and contribute to peace and stability,” the read.
In turn, the US Indo-Pacific Command said the drills sought “to showcase combined capabilities to deter and counter regional threats” as well as to demonstrate the US forces’ rapid reaction capabilities and “credible deterrent capacity.”
China and Russiα conducted a joint air patrol in the Asia-Pacific region on May 24 shortly after US President Biden wrapped up his Asia Trip. The flight by nuclear-capable bombers from both countries reflected increasing military cooperation amid tensions between the US and the West.
This was the fourth such joint flight by the air forces of China and Russiα and the first one since the Ukrαine wαr. Chinese and Russiαn warplanes flew above the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea, and the West Pacific Ocean, according to the press release by China’s Ministry of National Defense.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force sent H-6K strategic bombers, and the Russiαn Aerospace Forces dispatched Tu-95MS strategic missile carriers, with Su-30SM aircraft providing escort to the air group, according to a press release from the Russiαn Defense Ministry.
South Korea’s military said that multiple Chinese and Russiαn warplanes entered South Korea’s air defense identification zone (KADIZ), prompting its air force to scramble fighters to the scene.
According to Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), first, the two Chinese H-6 bombers entered the KADIZ at 7:56 a.m. local time. They moved toward the Sea of Japan, known as the ‘East Sea’ in South Korea before exiting the zone at around 9:33 a.m. local time.
This was followed by the two Chinese bombers joining four Russiαn warplanes, including two TU-95 bombers to enter the KADIZ together at 9:58 a.m. local time.