Pilots, maintainers and support personnel from the active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings and 12 F-35A Lightning II jets will travel to Kadena Air Base for six months as part of the U.S.’s ongoing security presence in the area, known as a theater security package. This is the second deployment of the F-35As stationed at Hill AFB, following a short show of force in RAF Lakenheath earlier this year.
The F35's come from the 34th Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Their commanderLt Col George Watkins, had this to say about the deployment to RAF Lakenheath:
"It's teamwork between us and the local population of the base here, as they're standing up their own F-35 squadrons here [...] so they can get some lesson's learned"
The deployment was planned months in advance according to the statement released by the Department of Defense, but the timing does come as international politics throughout the entire world are tense.