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RoKAF F-15Ks exercise with USAF F-16s

May 2, 2008 (by SSgt. Alice Moore) - Members of the 8th FW and the Republic of Korea Air Force's 122nd FS from Daegu AB, participated in a three-day Buddy Wing exercise April 30 through May 2, 2008.

USAF F-16C block 40 #88-0543 & F-16D block 40 #90-0791 from the 80th FS fly a training mission over South Korea

This is the first time ROK F-15Ks have participated in a Buddy Wing exercise with U.S. Air Force F-16s.

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 squadron, said Major Lee Dong Won, 122nd FS pilot.

"The Buddy Wing exercise is designed to help U.S. Air Force and ROK Air Forces to gain a better understanding of each other and experience different types of aircraft and scenarios to improve our coordination," Major Lee said.

The purpose of this exercise was to prep the RoKAF members participating in a large scale exercise in June. The June exercise hosted by Kunsan Air Base, prepares ROKAF pilots for a Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB, Nevada.

The exercise scenarios included four F-15Ks and four F-16s simulating an air-to-air battle situation as well as the aircraft forming combined strike unit groups.

"If we just train in a bubble by ourselves, it's not smart,' said Capt. Mike McCarthy, 80th Fighter Squadron pilot. "Everyone gets better the more you fly together and share ideas on how you fly and fight."

Major Lee said this is the first time F-15Ks have ever participated in a Buddy Wing exercise. Both he and Captain McCarthy have participated in other joint training exercises prior to this Buddy Wing exercise.

"This training has been a really good opportunity for us. This exercise could help us gain the momentum to have more joint training opportunities," Major Lee said.