U.S./ROK forces show off air power

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Repub­lic of Korea — (AFNS) — Not even the sun had a chance to rise before Air­men here began their work dur­ing a com­bined com­bat gen­er­a­tion exer­cise, March 2, between Unit­ed States and Repub­lic of Korea air forces.

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F‑16 Fight­ing Fal­cons from the 35th and 80th Fight­er Squadrons of the 8th Fight­er Wing, Kun­san Air Base, Repub­lic of Korea; the 421st Expe­di­tionary Fight­er Squadron of the 388th FW at Hill Air Force Base, Utah; the 55th EFS from the 20th FW at Shaw AFB, S.C.; and from the 38th Fight­er Group of the ROK Air Force, demon­strate an “Ele­phant Walk” as they taxi down a run­way dur­ing an exer­cise at Kun­san Air Base, Repub­lic of Korea, March 2, 2012. The exer­cise show­cased Kun­san AB air­crews’ capa­bil­i­ty to quick­ly and safe­ly pre­pare an air­craft for a wartime mis­sion. (U.S. Air Force pho­to by Senior Air­man Brit­tany Y. Auld/Released)
Click to enlarge

“The pur­pose of the exer­cise today is to test the abil­i­ty of our team to exe­cute our com­bat mis­sion at a moment’s notice,” said Col. Craig Leav­itt, 8th Oper­a­tions Group com­man­der.

“This shows the resolve that we have as a team, the Unit­ed States and the Repub­lic of Korea forces, to defend the Repub­lic of Korea at any time,” he added.

From start to fin­ish, air­craft were gen­er­at­ed as they would be for wartime oper­a­tions. The exer­cise helps Air­men prac­tice how sev­er­al pieces of a much larg­er puz­zle are brought togeth­er in one swift motion, rep­re­sent­ing a cycle of events para­mount to the over­all defense of the region.

Describ­ing it as a “bilat­er­al event,” Col. Stephen Williams, 8th Fight­er Wing vice com­man­der, not­ed the long hours spent behind the scenes that pro­duced the com­bat air pow­er seen between the five units. In all, the exer­cise includ­ed air­craft from the 35th and 80th Fight­er Squadrons from the 8th Fight­er Wing, Kun­san Air Base, ROK; the 421st Expe­di­tionary Fight­er Squadron from the 388th FW at Hill Air Force Base, Utah; the 55th EFS from the 20th FW at Shaw AFB, S.C.; and the 38th Fight­er Group of the ROK Air Force.

“Air­men from all the groups are par­tic­i­pat­ing — the entire Wolf Pack — and they don’t always get to see the tail end of this,” said Williams.

A befit­ting finale, the “tail end” event was ush­ered in by the roar­ing sound of fight­er jets as they glid­ed down the run­way as a com­bat-ready pro­ces­sion.

This isn’t the first time the Wolf Pack has exer­cised full com­bat gen­er­a­tion, and cer­tain­ly isn’t the last, but work­ing with host coun­try air pow­er defens­es has brought a more per­son­al asso­ci­a­tion to the impor­tance of the exer­cise.

“This is their [Kore­ans] home­land,” said Williams, remind­ing Air­men that the Wolf Pack is part of a vest­ed inter­est in defend­ing the Repub­lic of Korea from ene­my forces.

“The more we work togeth­er, the bet­ter we’ll be if called upon to take the fight north,” said Williams.

Source:
U.S. Air Force

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