Fighter squadrons deploying to Japan test Marines’ ability to corral the coronavirus

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — Two Marine fighter squadrons recently arrived at this air station for six months of duty in Japan, testing the ability of MCAS Iwakuni to keep the coronavirus at bay as new personnel streamed in.

The Marines’ Fighter Attack Squadron 312 and All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533, both from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., arrived between mid-September and early October on the Unit Deployment Program. The squadrons fly different models of the F/A-18 Hornet.

The squadrons moved from South Carolina to Japan a month apart to reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus. Most new infections within the U.S. military in Japan and South Korea are arriving with incoming troops, civilian employees or family members.