VMFA-112 Cowboys Team Build With JASDF 3 Squadron at Hyakuri Air Base


The U.S. Marine Corps’ VMFA-112 “Cowboys” with their F-18A++ Hornets and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force 3 Squadron’s F-2As trained together during the week of December 13, 2021 at Hyakuri Air Base. Additional Marine units that took part included Marine Wing Communications Squadron 18, Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12.

Some of the Cowboys took part in the base’s 55th annual air show during the last week of December after their joint training session.


The Cowboys are currently deployed to Iwakuni Air Base for 6 months for the Unit Deployment Program, of which this exercise was part of. The Aviation Training Relocation Program strengthens the US/Japan alliance through increased “operational readiness and to help ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific” according to US Marine Corps media releases.


There were 8 VMFA-112 F/A-18A++ Hornets participating in this program. The A++ version has avionics similar to the F/A-18C used by other Marine squadrons.


The JASDF 3 Tactical Fighter Squadron is based at Hyakuri Air Base and is the Force’s oldest Squadron. Over 90 F-2A (single seat) and F-2B (twin seat) jets have been built.

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