F-35Bs based in Japan conducted a nighttime aerial refuelling exercise to ‘improve operational readiness and enhance pilot proficiency’.
According to a press release, US Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 used their KC-130J Hercules aircraft to refuel F-35B Lightning II aircraft assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 and F/A-18C Hornets with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251.
“Every 180 days the squadrons should have completed at least five successful movement-to-contact scenarios with tankers to stay proficient,” said Marine Corps Maj. Brian Miller, a KC-130 pilot and aircraft commander with VMGR-152. “This training exercises our systems, so that we know our aerial refueling pods, our refueling system and their air refueling systems are all working.”
The mission of VMGR-152 is to support the Marine air-ground task force by providing aerial refueling and assault support, day or night under all weather conditions during expeditionary, joint or combined operations in the region.
The unit is also capable of aerial deliveries, assault landing zone operations and battlefield illumination.