Kunsan hosts Buddy Wing 15-4

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Katrina Heikkinen
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 8th Fighter Wing is hosting members from the South Korean air force's 123rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Wing at Seosan Air Base, South Korea, to participate in exercise Buddy Wing 15-4 here June 1-5.

During the five-day exercise, the 20th FW fighter pilots, maintenance and support personnel are integrating with Kunsan AB Airmen on all aspects of the exercise to include mission planning, briefing, execution and debriefing.

"Buddy Wing exercises provide training scenarios that sharpen our diverse skill sets," said Capt. Matthew Kimmel, a 35th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot and exercise Buddy Wing 15-4 project officer. "This is a great way to integrate with our ROKAF (Republic of Korea Air Force) partners both in the air and on the ground."

According to Kimmel, exercise Buddy Wing 15-4 will focus on different aspects of air-to-air and air-to-ground tactical training between the Kunsan AB’s 8th FW and the 20th FW.

"Some examples of the training include defensive counter-air and air interdiction scenarios," Kimmel said. "Defensive counter-air involves defending a point or area against enemy fighters -- where one enemy force attempts to take down the opposing force. Air interdiction scenarios consist of fighting your way into enemy territory and expending ordnance on enemy ground targets."

Combining specific objectives prove beneficial for the participating units during Buddy Wing exercises because Airmen not only refine tactical skillsets but also promote cultural awareness and interoperability.

"For more than 60 years, the ROK-U.S. alliance continues to be one of the strongest alliances in modern history," said Capt. Min-Gyu Han, a 123rd TFS pilot. "I come to Kunsan every year for training, and each time I know that the combined U.S.-ROK training will serve as a great opportunity to learn and understand our similarities, differences and tactical operations of both forces."

Buddy Wing exercises are conducted at various South Korea and U.S. Air Force bases multiple times throughout the year on the Korean Peninsula. The combined fighter exchange program provides pilots an opportunity to exchange ideas and practice combined tactics in order to fight and fly as one allied force.