Real-World Training Across Korea

Air Force aircraft and airmen from Osan AB, South Korea, and Kadena AB, Japan, are flying alongside US Marine Corps and Republic of Korea aircraft in a Korean peninsula-wide readiness exercise. Vigilant Ace 16 includes A-10s and F-16s from Osan; C-130s, KC-135s, and C-17s from Kadena; F-15Ks, KF-16s, and F-4Es from ROK Air Bases Daegu, Cheongju, and Jungwon; and EA-6Bs from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, according to an Air Force release. The weeklong event includes air-to-air training with the two countries, along with air mobility crews practicing real-world scenarios, such as a “running offload” where airmen unloaded C-130s while the aircraft was still running. “We control the gateway to the peninsula and must be able to carry out our mission in a safe and effective manner,” MSgt. Victor Peterson, 731st Air Mobility Squadron Wing Inspection Team member, said in a release. “Regardless of the challenges, our mission is to get these aircraft unloaded as quickly and safely as possible.” The exercise comes shortly after Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited South Korea, including a stop at the demilitarized zone.