NAVAL AIR FACILITY MISAWA, Japan – The “Fighting Tigers” of Patrol Squadron 8 took part in a bilateral exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force here, June 14, 2012.<br /> <br /> The “Fighting Tigers” hosted a visit from the JMSDF’s “Odin” Squadron, stationed out of Hachinohe Air Base in northern Japan.<br /> Their bilateral exercise focused on tactical communication and coordination, and consisted of four short tactical flights – two flown by the “Tigers” and two flown by VP-2 – all of which had riders from each squadron aboard as observers. <br /> <br /> “It was such a great opportunity to be able to work with such high quality forces,” said VP-8 Lt. Dan Kuriluk, a pilot who participated as an observer on one of the Japanese flights. “I was extremely impressed with the crew’s professionalism and skill. I highly encourage anyone who may have this opportunity in the future to participate.”<br /> <br /> “Odin” crew members were very pleased with their experience expressing their desire to fly with American aircrews.<br /> <br /> “It was a great event to participate in and a great learning experience for both crews,” said Lt. Omura, a veteran Japanese plane commander with more than 3,800 flight hours. <br /> <br /> After the exercise both squadrons were invited to a reception on board Misawa Air Base, hosted by Commander, Task Force 72.4. This provided another opportunity for VP-8 crew members to interact with their bilateral counterparts.<br /> <br /> “On behalf of Patrol Squadron 2, I would like to show my deepest appreciation for today’s events,” said CAPT Seto of JMSDF VP-2. “I also worked with VP-8 in 2002 and it is an honor to work with them again. This is a great chance to promote our relationship and we look forward to more opportunities in the future.”<br /> <br /> The “Fighting Tigers” of VP-8 are based out of Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL, and are currently on a six-month deployment at Naval Air Facility Misawa.