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NEWS | March 29, 2022

VQ-1 “World Watchers” host Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force during Raijin 22-1

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Glenn Slaughter, Commander, Task Force 72 Public Affairs

Members of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE (VQ-1) hosted guests from Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Air Reconnaissance Squadron EIGHT ONE (VQ-81) during Raijin 22-1, as part of an annual unit exchange, March 28-29.

The two-day event consisted of an exchange of briefs, small group discussions, static displays, and familiarization embark flights.

“VQ-1 and VQ-81 have a long history of cooperation and mission success and I am incredibly honored to participate in this valuable partnership based on shared vital interests and values,” said Cmdr. David Van Kampen, VQ-1 commanding officer.

VQ-1 hosted the event in coordination with their JMSDF partners.

“We are thankful for the opportunities that the Raijin exchange offers to work with our Japanese counterparts and refine our capabilities,” said Lt. Cmdr. David Wilson, officer in charge of VQ-1. “The face-to-face interaction is an invaluable part of that process.”

VQ-1 and VQ-81 have a deep history of cooperation. Their first exchange was almost 30 years ago, in 1994. Bilateral exchanges improve tactical skills and the interoperability between the JMSDF and the U.S. Navy.

VQ-1 is part of Commander, Task Force 72. Based out of Whidbey Island, Washington, the “World Watchers” are currently operating from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. The squadron conducts naval operations as part of a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.


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