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RoKAF and USAF Airmen participate in Buddy Wing Program

October 24, 2007 (by SSgt. Araceli Alarcon) - Airmen from the 80th Fighter Squadron and 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit participated in a Buddy Wing Program exercise from Tuesday through Thursday.

A1C. Ivelisse Gonzalez provides security for F-16C block 30 #86-0295 from the 80th FS, Kunsan AB during the Buddy Wing program on October 24th. The Buddy Wing program is a way for USAF and RoKAF airmen to develop teamwork, exchange ideas and improve tactics. [USAF photo by SrA. Steven R. Doty]

The Buddy Wing program is a way for U.S. Air Force and Republic of Korea Air Force Airmen to develop teamwork, exchange ideas and improve tactics.

"It's very important that we know how to integrate and fly with the RoKAF," said 1st Lt. Hugh Walker 80th Fighter Squadron pilot. "So being able to understand each other and having similar ideas and tactics will make it easier when it's time to conduct operations together."

Working together was the key element in this training.

"We need to have a good relationship with each other," said Staff Sgt. Craig Simpson 80th AMU crew chief. "As allies, we need to know how to work together so we can get the mission done."

Participants agreed the program was a way to learn from each other and foster teamwork.

"It's a way for USAF and ROKAF pilots to learn from each other. We have learned many things from USAF pilots," said ROKAF Capt. Yong Sun Jung, 161 squadron pilot. "In peace time we train together so we can perform better as a team to provide peace and stability to the region."

The three day training event enabled pilots and maintainers to participate in tactics discussions, aircraft training and flying sorties.

"USAF maintainers are very fun and talkative," said Staff Sgt. Yusun Song, 161 Squadron crew chief. "We were able to learn new things about the aircraft that we didn't know about. For example, we learned new methods of inspecting an F-16 aircraft."

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 Kunsan or Osan Air Base.

Besides Airmen from operations and maintenance, the 8th Security Forces Squadron had Airmen deploy to provide security to the aircraft.

Courtesy of 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

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