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Buddy Wing 16-2 takes flight over Osan skies

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFNS) -- The 51st Fighter Wing hosted Buddy Wing 16-2 at Osan Air Base Feb. 22-25, showcasing Airmen from the 25th Fighter Squadron and Aircraft Maintenance Unit.

South Korean air force pilots and maintainers from the 237th FS at Wonju Air Base, traveled to Osan AB in a continued effort to support the alliance.

“The Buddy Wing exercise creates an opportunity to share knowledge and discuss and improve processes that can be tactically developed by both (South Korean air force) KA-1 and U.S. Air Force A-10 (Thunderbolt II) pilots,” said Maj. Hwang, Jung-hwan, a 237th FS pilot. “This Buddy Wing will grant an opportunity for us to prepare and be ready to cope with unexpected situations we have never experienced in person by performing practical training where our (South Korean air force) may lack.”

Members participating in Buddy Wing 16-2 trained to build relationships and broaden their knowledge of working in a joint environment with continued training operations aimed at deterring enemy aggression.

U.S. Air Force A-10s from the 25th FS integrated with South Korean air force KA-1 Woongbi fighter aircraft from the 237th FS to perform close air support missions.

“Buddy Wing is conducted quarterly to integrate and conduct joint, combined missions,” said 1st Lt. Samantha Latch, a 25th FS A-10 pilot. “As we fly and train together, not only are we getting to know them, but we’re increasing our capability to work together.

After 62 years, the South Korean and U.S. alliance continues to be one of the longest standing and successful alliances in modern history. Exercises such as Buddy Wing, along with other combined operations and training events, add to the continued success.

“The exercise promotes mutual understanding and motivation to maintain a strong alliance between (South Korea) and U.S.,” Hwang said.

Buddy Wing 16-2 is the second in a series of joint training, combat exercises conducted in 2016 across the peninsula.