Update – JMSDF/MCAS Iwakuni Friendship Day 2019 (Release No. 008-19)

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan (Apr 12, 2019) – Marking the 43rd anniversary of our open house, Friendship Day, the JMSDF/MCAS Iwakuni Friendship Day offers a full spectrum of entertainment with an air show in the sky and static displays on the ground.  The joint open house will feature U.S. and Japanese aerial demonstration jet teams, a Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstration and civilian parachute jumpers.  Guests attending the event will experience a once-in-a-lifetime air show.

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni takes pleasure in announcing performers whose participation has been confirmed at our JMSDF/MCAS Iwakuni Friendship Day, which will be held on May 5.  Marines, sailors, airmen, and soldiers, as well as Japanese Air, Maritime and Ground Self-Defense Force service members, look forward to welcoming you to our home away from home.



Air Show

*New* CVW-5 F/A-18 Demo – For the first time ever, CVW-5 will demonstrate their flying capabilities during Friendship Day. Attached to the USS Ronald Reagan while deployed, CVW-5 made MCAS Iwakuni their home base for their fixed wing aircraft between 2017 and 2018, joining MAG-12 and FAW-31 as the third major tenant unit of the air station.

Japan Air Self-Defense Force Blue Impulse – MCAS Iwakuni is excited to announce the return of Blue Impulse, JASDF’s special aerobatic demonstration team, for Friendship Day 2019. Performing astonishing aerobatics in sequence and drawing gasps of excitement and wonder from spectators on the ground, the beautiful and majestic precision flying demonstration has won high praise from inside and outside Japan. Aviators will be available for autographs at a booth established in the event venue.


*New* Team Fastrax – Team Fastrax is the largest professional parachute team in the world. Their skydive demonstration performances can be seen in numerous movies, commercials and television shows. Team Fastrax demonstrations typically consist of multiple members exiting an aircraft and descending to a precise landing, thrilling the spectators.


Yoshihide Muroya – Having held some 170 air shows over 12 years, Yoshihide Muroya has accumulated real-time experience from world-famous aerobatic competitions such as the World Aerobatic Championships (WAC).  As the first Asian pilot in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in 2009, he has helped raise the popularity of the sport in East Asia, particularly in his home country of Japan.


Whiskey Papa – Flying for more than 20 years, Masahiro Utsumi has competed in many international aerobatic competitions.  He is a popular air-show pilot in Japan who has a Federal Aviation Administration Statement of Aerobatic Competency (SAC) card level 1- Unrestricted.


Japan Ground Self-Defense Force airborne rappelling demonstration – As part of the U.S.-Japan friendship exchange, JGSDF units under the command of the 13th Brigade will participate in Friendship Day 2019. Rangers based out of the 46th Infantry Regiment, Camp Kaitaichi, Hiroshima, will come aboard UH-1J multi-role helicopter operated by the 13th Aviation, based out of Vice Camp Hofu, Yamaguchi. Spectators will be thrilled to watch JGSDF rangers rappelling down from the helicopter hovering in the air with a high level of skill and precision.

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ceremonial flight – Three types of Iwakuni based JMSDF aircraft will be pleased to demonstrate a ceremonial flight over their home community. UP-3D and U-36A aircraft will fly in combination and US-2 will demonstrate a beautiful pass. Subject to change, the ceremonial flight may turn out to be a solo flight of each asset if and when flying in collaboration is not feasible due to weather or other reasons.

Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-2 – The Japan Air Self-Defense Force will be showcasing its F-2 multirole, single-engine fighter aircraft, which is popular for its air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities. The F-2 is known for its incredible maneuverability, speed, and power. This is an aerial demonstration every aviation enthusiast will want to see.

F-35B Lightning II – Following the very first aerial demonstration in Asia at Friendship Day 2018, the world’s first short-takeoff, vertical landing (STOVL) stealth fighter showcases its capability of the most advanced multi-role, strike-fighter technologies in the world. The F-35’s low observable stealth allows it to safely enter areas without being seen by radars that legacy fighters cannot evade. In addition to the ability to operate in austere environments, the F-35 brings the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft in history.

Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstration – An action-packed demonstration that showcases the diversity and power of the Marine Corps.  The MAGTF is the organizational structure of the Marine Corps and is made up of four elements: command, ground combat, aviation combat, and combat service support.  During the MAGTF demonstration, audiences will be thrilled with close air support, simulated aerial refueling and extended capabilities of Marine Corps assets to perform in expeditionary environments. This year’s MAGTF demonstration includes the participation of the F-35B.

Pacific Air Forces’ F-16 Demonstration Team – Based at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and flying the Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcon, the team demonstrates the breathtaking power and maneuverability of the aircraft to the delight of aviation enthusiasts everywhere. Through exceptional precision in the air, this unit helps promote positive relations between the U.S. and nations across the Western Pacific.


Aircraft Static Displays/Ground Static Displays

Subject to change, we currently have numerous U.S. and Japanese aircraft static displays, to include the following: F/A-18D, F/A-18E, F/A-18F, F-35B, KC-130J, MH-60S, MH-60R, E-2D, C-2, E/A-18G, and A-10. Japan Self-Defense Force aircraft static displays will include the following: U-36A, MCH-101, SH-60, KC-767, US-2, T-5, TC-90, TH-135, P-3C, AH-1S, and more.  For those who are interested in heavy-duty military gear, Friendship Day offers a unique opportunity to get first-hand experience of the ground combat capabilities of the U.S. Marine Corps. Marine tactical units from Okinawa will share their proficiencies in tactics on the ground and Iwakuni-based Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 will be displaying heavy equipment, utility equipment, an expeditionary field kitchen and a wide variety of military vehicles. Did you know the Marine Corps is capable of its own aviation command and control?  Marine Air Control Squadron 4 will be providing aerial surveillance, air traffic control and navigational assistance to aircraft during the air show.  Visitors are welcome to see and learn what Marines do every day to ensure the safety of the pilots, aircrew and aircraft.

We look forward to seeing you at the JMSDF/MCAS Iwakuni Friendship Day!

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan Communication Strategy & OperationsMisumi-cho, Iwakuni City Yamaguchi Pref., Japan PSC 561 BOX 1868