Buddy Week

US and South Korean F-16 pilots and maintainers paired up at Kunsan AB, Korea, last week to practice for Red Flag later this year. “We want to train together so we understand these subtle differences and fight alongside each other seamlessly,” said Lt. Col. Luther Cross, safety chief with Kunsan’s 8th Fighter Wing. He added, “The main difference between Red Flag and other training scenarios is the large number of aircraft in each fight.” Cooperative training is essential because “our normal flights here are usually four versus two aircraft, but Red Flag could possibly have more than 50 versus 12 aircraft,” said Cross. Exercise Buddy Wing 14-1 ran Jan. 14 to Jan. 20 at Kunsan. Republic of Korea Air Force jets are slated to participate in Red Flag at Nellis AFB, Nev. in July. The Air Force had to cancel Red Flag exercises last year due to sequestration. (Kunsan report) (See also Red Flag’s Back)