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
The Space Test Program-2 will provide the #USAF with insight into the SpaceX booster recovery and refurbishing proc… https://t.co/qYhlj7Je9V
RT @ActingSecAF: Happy birthday @USArmy. 244 years of defending our nation. @SecArmy https://t.co/AfMoPxwbd8
RT @DeptofDefense: “They’re really noisy, but I love them.” This @USAirForce F-15 Eagle crew chief from the @142ndFW shares his motivation…
Today, America recognizes the birth of Old Glory with its own holiday. Flag Day was first celebrated in 1877 to mar… https://t.co/wqoEjdqQFy
#FollowFriday! @ActingSecAF Matthew Donovan is responsible for the affairs of the #USAF, including the organizing,… https://t.co/28IlKOKWMq
.@NellisAFB fixed wing aircrews are flight-testing new prototype helmets this summer, thanks in part to an accelera… https://t.co/4HSUGSk3Qg
The 2019 @warriorgames Opening Ceremony is set for 6/22 @AmalieArena w/@HunterHayes! Stay up to date with your… https://t.co/u34QuBnpdo
.@AETCommand's latest #podcast series dives into "Developing Mach-21 #Airmen," providing visibility on recruiting,… https://t.co/CGSHJonQAT
RT @ActingSecAF: Thanks to the support of Congress, the @usairforce is developing game changing technology. #fasterandsmarter https://t.co/…
#DYK, Flight equipment has historically been designed to fit males because there are statistically more male… https://t.co/iJnSp1pV74
.@AirForceReserve #Airmen rescues an 8yr old boy from flood waters, in Prague, Oklahoma. #USAFhttps://t.co/Y4efafIkO6
#DYK, Individuals w/ disabilities comprise a large part of the #USAF civilian force. As part of the American Disabi… https://t.co/LOP14Xhg4j
Two of #AirForce's newest aircraft complete receiver certification, moving one step closer to enhancing #warfigtherhttps://t.co/F6pvB6PEac
.@HQAirUniversity's Squadron Officer School students collaborate to explore ways #AI can solve #AirForce issues and… https://t.co/QBCFwaGUdh
Vandenberg #AirForce Base is set to support the @SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch, carrying the RADARSAT Constellation… https://t.co/PohIOze3HC
#ICYMI, #USAF was on full display at the #Indy500. @USAFRecruiting teamed up w/@ConorDaly22 for this #NASCAR event.… https://t.co/uOfqBBDWNd
.@DHADirector visited @TeamTyndall, to talk to medical members about the changes the @DoD_DHA will be making throug… https://t.co/EOgEqmqHFt