News: VFA-94 arrives in Kadena, Habu Fire II kicks off
Story by Lance Cpl. Cayce Nevers
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan - Navy airmen from Strike Fighter Attack Squadron 94 arrived in Okinawa via High Speed Vessel Aug. 20 to participate in exercise Habu Fire II here.
Habu Fire II is a joint-training exercise where VFA-94, Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 214 and 18th Fighter Wing work together performing and improving efficiency in air-to-air operations.
This course is unique because it allows Marines, Navy airmen and Air Force airmen the opportunity to work together and learn how each branch accomplishes the mission.
“It gives us a chance to play around and get exposed to the way they do business as well as exposing the way we do business to them,” said Senior Chief Jose E. Lumanlan, VFA-94 acting senior enlisted advisor for Habu Fire II. “We are here to learn new ways to do things and to train.”
As a part of the Unit Deployment Program Naval airmen of VFA-94 deploy to the Western Pacific for six-month intervals.
While they are here, the Navy airmen expect to learn as much as possible since this could be their last deployment under the UDP, said Lumanlan.
This training will give Naval airmen a chance to see how well their unit works with other branches.
“We adapt well to being in new places,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Derek Stevens, VFA-94 aviation structural mechanic, safety equipment. “We try and work like we are at home, like we didn’t even leave.”
Throughout this training, VFA-94 will be conducting air-to-air operations with other squadrons as well as launching, catching, directing and fixing aircraft on a day-to-day basis.
“We are the eyes and ears on the ground,” said Navy airman Anthony R. Moreno, VFA-94 aviation electricians mate. “We are the last to see aircraft before a launch and the first to see it land.”
The exercise serves to help the airmen become more efficient in their military occupational specialties.
“We have only been here for a few days and things are just starting, but we are performing above and beyond expectations already,” said Moreno.
With the training kicked off, VFA-94 personnel have a lot of work to accomplish in order to make exercise Habu Fire II a success.