Japan-Based F-35 Stealth Fighters Begin 1st Training Drills

Training drills began this week near Japan’s southernmost prefecture of Okinawa of the U.S. Marine Corps' F-35 fighter jets, local media said Wednesday.

The drills of the next-generation stealth aircraft began earlier this week following the first overseas deployment by U.S of the war jets to the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture last month.

Open sources and local media quoted the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force as describing the drills involving the planes as regularly scheduled training.

The arrival of the fighter jets in January 2017 is part of a broader plan to assign 16 similar fighters to bases here.

Apart from deploying its F-35s here, Japan's Ministry of Defense (MOD) also revealed plans to acquire at least 6 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning stealth fighter jets.

MOD officials also stated the acquisition that has begun is aimed at bolstering Japan's Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) achieving superior air-combat capability.

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