February 17, 2016 (by Asif Shamim) - Four U.S. F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft conducted a combined formation flight alongside Republic of Korea F-15K Slam Eagle aircraft and U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft to demonstrate the capabilities of the ROK-U.S. Alliance February 17th.
A USAF F-22 'Raptor' from Kadena AB is flanked by an F-16 and a RoKAF F-15 Slam Eagle at Osan AB on February 17th, 2016. The Raptor was part of a flyover formation of 12 aircraft demonstrating the strength of the ROK/U.S. alliance in response to recent provocative actions by North Korea. [USAF photo by SSgt. Amber Grimm]
The F-22 Raptor is the most capable air superiority fighter in the world, and it represents one of many capabilities available for the defense of this great nation. The U.S. maintains an ironclad commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea,” said United Nations Command, U.S. Forces Korea deputy commander and U.S. 7th Air Force commander, Lt. Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, during a combined press engagement with media.
Republic of Korea Air Force Lt. Gen. Lee Wang-keon, ROK Air Force Operations Command commander, spoke about the strength of the ROK-U.S. Alliance’s air combat capabilities during his brief remarks.
“The ROK and U.S. combined Air Forces remain ready to deter North Korean threats, and are postured to defeat them with the strength of our combined air combat capability,” Lt. Gen. Lee said.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Nicholas Evans, 36th Fighter Squadron commander, flew alongside the formation, showcasing Osan’s readiness mission.
“The combined nature of this flyover highlighted the high level of integration and interoperability between our two Air Forces, developed through decades of combined training,” said Evans.
“Furthermore, the inclusion of F-22s, and a B-52 in January, demonstrated the firm resolve of all [United States] forces as we stand united with our counterparts from the ROK Air Force,” he added.
The mission demonstrated the strength of the Alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea and the resolve of both nations to maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula.