NEWS | April 18, 2016

Kunsan Launches Exercise Max Thunder 16

By 1st Lt. Ashley Wright, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft will train with Republic of Korea Air Force counterparts in the bilateral training exercise Max Thunder 16, at Kunsan AB, April 15 to 29.


Exercise Max Thunder is held annually, and is the largest military flying exercise held on the Korean Peninsula. Max Thunder is part of a continuous exercise program designed to enhance interoperability between U.S. and ROK forces, and is not tied to any specific real-world events or situations. Max Thunder highlights the long-standing military partnership, commitment and enduring friendship between the two nations to help ensure peace and security in Northeast Asia.


“Every year, Max Thunder serves as an excellent opportunity for U.S. and ROKAF fighter pilots to train side-by-side and gain valuable experience they will need if the Korea air power team is required to go into aerial combat together,” said Lt. Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Seventh Air Force commander. “The U.S. commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea is ironclad. U.S. military aircraft come to Korea from across the Pacific to participate in this exercise, making a tremendous display of the capabilities the U.S. brings to this alliance.”


Approximately 1200 U.S. personnel will participate in Max Thunder 16, in support of F-16 aircraft from 7th Air Force; F-18 aircraft from the 12th Marine Aircraft Group; and EA-18G aircraft from Electronic Attack Squadron 138 (USN VAQ-138).


Approximately 640 ROK personnel will also participate in the exercise, in support of KF-16, F-15K, F-5E, F-4E, FA-50, KA-1, UH-60, C-130 and CN 235 aircraft.