Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan hosted over 200,000 visitors for the 41st Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni Friendship Day on May 5th. The air show event started in 1943 to showcase the mutual support and friendship between the US and Japan as well as aerial demonstrations.
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“Friendship day is a community relations event,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Nathan Hoff, station operations officer and air show director. “The big thing to me is the opportunity we have to open our gates and welcome in the whole community of Japan. They are able to see what we are all about . . . our ability to perform military tasks as well as integrate in with the JMSDF. Whether it’s training for real-world contingencies or in this case hosting a community-related event . . . it is an opportunity to showcase our bilateral cooperation.”
“We have a multitude of U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force aircraft from throughout the Pacific area of operations,” said Hoff. “The Japan Self-Defense Force will also be providing displays of their planes and helicopters. We will also have some civilian aircraft displayed and a DC-3 presented by Breitling. For anyone who is interested in aviation, there is something out here for them to see.” – United States Marine Corps
Aircraft on display included the F/A-18 Hornet, MV-22B Osprey, F-35B Lightning II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, A-10 Thunderbolt II, and a KC-135 Stratotanker. Some civilian aircraft such as a WACO biplane and Cessna’s from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Japan joined the military aircraft on the ramp.
Featured image by US Marine Corps
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