F-16s of Pacific Air Forces’ 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan AB, South Korea, flew alongside F-15K fighters of the Republic of Korea Air Force for the first time during a Buddy Wing exercise recently. The US and South Korean airmen exchanged tactics and ideas during the three-day event that ended May 2. Four F-15Ks from the 122nd Fighter Squadron at Daegu Air Base flew with four F-16s of Kunsan’s 80th FS during simulated air-to-air and combined strike maneuvers. “If we just train in a bubble by ourselves, it’s not smart,” said 80th FS pilot Capt. Mike McCarthy, who added, “Everyone gets better the more you fly together and share ideas on how you fly and fight.” The exercise also helped prepare the ROK pilots for a large scale exercise next month that, in turn, will prep them for an upcoming Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB, Nev. (Kunsan report by SSgt. Alice Moore)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.