US and South Korean air forces begin combined flying operations


The US and South Korean air forces are conducting combined flying operations as part of Buddy Wing 17-4, at Jungwon Air Base, South Korea.

The Buddy Wing training will witness participation from six F-16 Fighting Falcons of the 35th Fighter Squadron, which took off from Kunsan air base on 15 May to support Buddy Wing 17-4.

The training is conducted multiple times a year and aims to improve flying operations between the US and South Korean air forces.

35th Fighter Squadron instructor pilot air force captain Ryan Clisset said: “These exercises give us an opportunity to integrate with our [South Korean] counterparts.

“We share tactics, intelligence and operations, which are the skills we need to use if we ever had to take the fight to an enemy.”

During the five-day exercise, participating forces will get to know each other's pre-, in-air and post-flight processes.

"The training is conducted multiple times a year and aims to improve flying operations between the US and South Korean air forces."

They will also work on communication barriers that might arise during operations.

Clisset added: “This exercise helps us bridge the language and culture gaps that we may have.

“We are able to learn and grow together. Eventually, we get to a point where we can speak the same language and know each other’s tactics.”

The exercise will focus on air-to-ground targeting in an opposed environment, and surface-to-air and air-to-air threats will be simulated to give the US and South Korean pilots a feel for what opposing forces might carry out.


Image: Three F-16 Fighting Falcons taxi at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. Photo: courtesy of the US Air Force photo by senior airman Michael Hunsaker.