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F-16 Fighting Falcon News

8th FW & RoKAF Buddy Wing Program

June 27, 2007 (by SSgt. Alice Moore) - Members of the 35th Fighter Squadron and the 155th Fighter Squadron from Junwon Air Base, teamed up for a Buddy Wing Program exercise Wednesday through Friday.

The purpose of the Buddy Wing Program is to exchange ideas, introduce tactics and improve interoperability between the U.S. Air Force and the Republic of Korea fighter squadrons.

Participants believe the program is important because it provides an excellent training opportunity.

"It improves the coalition's capability of comparing ideas and tactics with the RoKAF," said Capt. David Still, 35th FS pilot. "The program is also important because it increases the opportunity for cross flow of information and techniques."

Captain Still also said the combined training is important because it puts the pilots on the same page and participants from the ROKAF also agree.

"This program gives us the chance to combine tactics and learn from each other's experiences," said Maj. Heon Jae Maeng, 155th FS pilot. "This gives us a good chance to form a good relationship."

Captain Still said the Buddy Wing Program also incorporates more than just the actual training mission in the air.

"It involves units actually deploying to another base to show we can work on the ground together too," he said. "By doing this, it improves the USAF and ROKAF relationship at not only the fighter squadron level, but also the aircraft maintenance unit level."

During their three -day training, the fighter squadrons will participate in tactics discussions and fly sorties.

"The training will help the USAF and ROKAF to learn from each other on how to employ together," Captain Still said.

Col. CQ "Wolf" Brown, 8th Fighter Wing Commander said it's important to continue conducting training missions with the ROKAF.

"It's imperative we continue to train with our ROKAF partners. These joint training opportunities let us integrate our capabilities and better prepare us to execute our mission," he said.

The Buddy Wing Program is held once a quarter for the F-16 squadrons. It was designed to rotate every quarter between the U.S. deploying to a ROKAF base and members of the ROKAF deploying to here or Osan Air Base.

Courtesy of 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs