B-52s Take Part in Max Thunder

Two B-52s from Andersen AFB, Guam, flew to Gwangju AB, South Korea, earlier this month to participate in Max Thunder 12-1, a combined biannual combat training exercise involving US and South Korean air assets. This marked the first time that the heavy bombers took part in Max Thunder, traditionally an air-to-air fighter exercise, according to a May 25 release from the 51st Fighter Wing at Osan AB, South Korea. “Bringing the B-52 to Max Thunder is really great training for everyone,” said Capt. Seth Spidahl, B-52 pilot and exercise liaison. He added, “A lot of the time we don’t get to integrate with other fighter aircraft.” During the two-week exercise, the B-52s were tasked to bring about 40 percent of the weaponry to the fight and hit about 85 percent of the planned targets, according to the release. “This exercise has been a series of firsts and this has been an excellent addition to show our capabilities,” said Col. Patrick Matthews, Max Thunder deployed commander. (Gwangju report by A1C Michael Battles)