HomeNewsArticle Display

South Korean Air Force F-35A pilot takes first flight

After a year of preparation and instruction through the 944th Operations Group Detachment 2, Lockheed Martin and their active duty team members at the 56th Fighter Wing, Maj. Kiyun Jung, ROKAF F-35A pilot, flew his first solo mission.

Maj. Kiyun Jung, Republic of Korea Air Force F-35A pilot, prepares for his first solo mission July 20, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Jung prepared for this flight through months of intensive academic, simulator, and hands-on training with the 944th OG Det. 2 and the 56th FW. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

After a year of preparation and instruction through the 944th Operations Group Detachment 2, Lockheed Martin and their active duty team members at the 56th Fighter Wing, Maj. Kiyun Jung, ROKAF F-35A pilot, flew his first solo mission.

A Republic of Korea Air Force F-35A taxis onto the runway July 20, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The event marked a milestone as Maj. Kiyun Jung, ROKAF pilot flew his first solo mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

After a year of preparation and instruction through the 944th Operations Group Detachment 2, Lockheed Martin and their active duty team members at the 56th Fighter Wing, Maj. Kiyun Jung, ROKAF F-35A pilot, flew his first solo mission.

A Republic of Korea Air Force F-35A takes-off July 20, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The event marked a milestone as Maj. Kiyun Jung, ROKAF pilot flew his first solo mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) -- The first South Korean Air Force F-35A pilot soared into history when he took to the skies July 20, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

After a year of preparation and instruction through the 944th Operations Group Detachment 2, Lockheed Martin and their active duty team members at the 56th Fighter Wing, Maj. Kiyun Jung, F-35A pilot, flew his first solo mission.

“I felt so excited for this flight, and because of my instruction, this aircraft felt familiar and I was able to have a smooth experience,” said Jung. “This is my job and it felt great to finally take-off and work on becoming the best F-35 pilot I can be. My goals moving forward as an F-35 pilot is to lead and teach my fellow pilots in Korea to become the best in the world.”

Jung prepared for this flight through months of intensive academic, simulator and hands-on training with the 56th FW 944th and the OG Det. 2.

“This flight is a huge milestone for [South Korea], and for us to be a part of that is an amazing honor because we realize the magnitude of this event for both countries,” said Lt. Col. Eric Puels, 944th OG Det. 2 commander. “For us to be able to forge these relationships and get to know these pilots during their journey toward fifth generation airpower is incredible.”

During the historical event, South Korean, 944th and 56th FWs and Lockheed Martin staff all worked together to ensure a safe and efficient flight for Jung.

“It’s very rewarding to work with and witness these pilots grow through the course,” said Maj. Michael Hobbson, 944th OG Det. 2 chief of training and South Korean flying course manager. “Over the past year, I’ve been involved with not only creating and executing their course material, but working with their leaders in Korea and helping them to have the best possible experience in our country as they worked toward this point where we were able to take that first flight.”

Jung is the first student in the Korean chapter of flight training for the five year FMS program. Two more classes of ROK students are scheduled to be trained as F-35A pilots.

“Each of us in the wings played an important part in making this momentous event happen; civilian and Airmen alike,” said Lt. Col. Jason Bartels, 56th Operations Group Foreign Military Sales director. “Many others in Pacific Air Forces, Korea, and the F-35 Joint Program Office also contributed to arrive at today. Together we are building the future of airpower not only for the United States, but with our great allies around the world. I am proud and humbled to see our two nations work together and build closer ties in the world's most advanced fighter.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: #TuesdayThoughts "...This is a matter of committing to something and investing in yourself. If you make that choice and you’r…
RT @AF_Falcons: #CollegeColorsDay is approaching! Rep your 🔵&⚪ on 8/30 Enter for a chance to win giveaways and tickets to the College Foot…
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Today, participants in APF Kenya 2019 started the week-long #partnership event focused on personnel recovery. Maj. Gen. Ogol…
RT @AirmanMagazine: The @CivilAirPatrol and the @usairforce fly "Fertile Keynote" training missions to exercise America's air defense capab…
RT @CitizenAirman: Enlisted aircrew members critical to C-130 Hercules flight testing - https://t.co/RAPxP7CR6E #ReserveReady https://t.co/…
RT @ActingSecAF: Join @VP Pence, @JimBridenstine, me, & more at the National Space Council today at 9:30 am ET. We will discuss #space #inn
#DYK, Patriot Warrior is @USAFReserve's premier exercise, providing an opportunity for Reserve Citizen #Airmen to t… https://t.co/g3mWCOKg7C
RT @AFResearchLab: Q. What's that? A. Just @AFResearchLab turning a Cessna into an #UAV #InnovativeAF details: https://t.co/t6aAMLxJSu…
RT @US_SOCEUR: A U.S. Air Force Logistics Readiness Airman connects fuel hoses to a MC-130J Commando II during Operation Rapid Forge in #Es
RT @AF_Wrestle: Thank you to Brig Gen Brook Leonard, a leader in the war in Iraq to defeat ISIS, for speaking to the team today about “Char…
RT @USEmbassyPH: READ: Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force and Commander, Pacific Air Forces, Visit Manila. @usairforce @PACAF #FriendsPar
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thank you, Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang, for hosting today’s roundtable with Ho Chi Minh Nat’l Academy of Politics. We look f…
RT @AFSpace: #OTD in 1957 Lt. Col. David G. Simons, M.D., participated in the Manhigh II flight. The @usairforce used balloons to transport…
RT @AF_Falcons: .@AF_MSwim & @AF_WSwim took a summer trip through Europe staying on a @usairforce base for two weeks while visiting 4 diffe…
RT @AF_SBIR_STTR: About 20 or 30 companies will be selected to compete for up to $40 million at the Air Force Pitch Day for Space, planned…
RT @AFmuseum: Special thanks to TSgt.(Ret.) Richard Tung & his family for visiting! Tung was assigned to the 491st bomb group(h), 853rd Squ…
It's #NationalAviationDay! ✈️ #USAF has been a part of #aviation since its inception September 18, 1947. The… https://t.co/ESPaIUaJ1m