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Japan Air Self-Defense Force testers visit Edwards

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

The U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School invited two Japanese Air Self-Defense Force pilots to Edwards to fly in a T-38 and an F-16.

Maj. Naoki Morimoto, a flight test engineer, and Maj. Haruhiku Naganawa, test pilot, took to the skies over California Sept. 26.

The visiting pilots were in the High Desert September 24-27 as part of the TPS’s international exchange program. The school sent students to Japan in April 2017 to fly JASDF aircraft, and the Japanese pilots have, in turn, visited here.  

According to Japan’s Ministry of Defense, the JASDF was established July 1, 1954. Today, the force operates a variety of aircraft including the E-2C airborne early-warning aircraft, C-130H cargo planes, E-767 airborne warning air control aircraft and roughly 260 fighters to include F-15s, F-16s and F-4s.

TPS has also had student exchanges this year with Australia, France, Israel, Italy, United Kingdom and Singapore.

Japan Air Self-Defense Force testers visit Edwards
Maj. Haruhiku Naganawa, Japan Air Self-Defense Force test pilot, poses for a photo in front of an Edwards F-16 Fight Falcon Sept. 26. Naganawa visited the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School as part of the school’s student exchange program and got to fly in the F-16 and in a T-38 Talon Supersonic Trainer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joseph Pol Sebastian Gocong)
Japan Air Self-Defense Force testers visit Edwards Japan Air Self-Defense Force testers visit Edwards
Maj. Haruhiku Naganawa, Japan Air Self-Defense Force test pilot, poses for a photo in front of an Edwards F-16 Fight Falcon Sept. 26. Naganawa visited the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School as part of the school’s student exchange program and got to fly in the F-16 and in a T-38 Talon Supersonic Trainer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joseph Pol Sebastian Gocong)

- Randy Karpinen, U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, contributed to this article