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May 18, 2017

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 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.

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"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.

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