For the first time, personnel from the 353rd Special Operations Group (SOG) performed nighttime air-to-air refueling training for a helicopter with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). The event took place during ‘Exercise Teak Jet’ which is a joint training event between the US Air Force and the JASDF.

“The primary focus of Exercise Teak Jet was working with our combined partners from JASDF’s Rescue Squadrons,” said Air Force Capt. Altay Savrun, mission commander for Exercise Teak Jet. “We performed helicopter air-to-air refueling to JASDF UH-60J Black Hawk helicopters from our U.S. Air Force MC-130J Commando II and MC-130H Combat Talon II [aircraft].”

Throughout the 10-day event, the air commandos flew over the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan to meet Japanese UH-60Js and execute helicopter air-to-air refueling (HAAR) training missions.

“The procedure of HAAR is standardized worldwide,” said Japan Air Self-Defense Force Maj. Hirotaka Nakamura, Komatsu Air Rescue Squadron UH-60J pilot. “Training with the 353rd SOG gave us an opportunity to train and to become familiarized with various types of refueling aircraft. The training allows us to understand each other’s method of operations, establish our standard procedures and improve our capabilities at the same time.” – US Department of Defense

Featured image of an Air Force loadmaster from the 353rd Special Operations Group observing a Japan Air Self-Defense Force UH-60J Black Hawk helicopter assigned to the Komatsu Air Rescue Squadron during operations above the Sea of Japan for Exercise Teak Jet, June 19, 2017. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe

353rd Special Operations Group observes a Japan Air Self-Defense Force UH-60J Black Hawk helicopter