As the aircraft approaches the runway, different colored lights indicate the aircraft's altitude and where it is in relation to the center of the landing strip.
The biggest advantage of having this system in Ie Shima is availability for training opportunities, according to Mossage. The simulated ship's landing deck is one of three available in the Marine Corps. The other two are located at Marine Corps Air Stations Yuma, Ariz., and Cherry Point, N.C.
"Practicing with a real jet, in a controlled environment, is always preferable to a computer simulator," said Capt. Ryan Colvert, a Harrier pilot with Marine Attack Squadron 214, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, serving as the Harrier Detachment for Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265. "At Ie Shima, you can practice in a real jet, but without the stress of landing on a boat in the middle of the ocean."
The advantages of the $2.5 million project came with a lot of hard work from the Marines of Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, who were tasked with installing the system, according to Trautman.
"These Marines were out here working in the intense heat and the rain," he said. "They did an outstanding job and I am very grateful for all the work they did to make this a reality."