KUNSAN AIR FORCE BASE, Republic of Korea -- Pilots from the 8th Fighter Wing conducted flying operations with the 19th Fighter Wing, from Jungwon Air Base, for Buddy Squadron training event from March 27 to 29.
Buddy Squadron, which is held multiple times a year, is training that aims to enhance the abilities for U.S. and Republic of Korea Air Forces to integrate together.
“[Buddy Squadron] is held to check our personnel’s proficiency and tactical operation capability, share the latest tactics and offer a chance for the pilots of both nation to understand each other,” said ROK Air Force Capt. Jun-hee Lee, 161st Fighter Group pilot. “The fact that pilots with different weapon systems and tactics acquire a chance to communicate and fly together is impressive.”
Both the U.S. Air Force and ROK Air Force fly F-16 Fighting Falcons, so pilots on both sides were familiar with each other’s aircraft already.
“Any differences I saw were primarily based on technique,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. James Broncheau, 35th Fighter Squadron instructor pilot. “Maybe we talk about things in a slightly different fashion, but when it comes time to actual execution, we want to achieve the same thing.”
Broncheau enjoyed training with his Korean counterparts, and seeing how they operated.
“It was great to see the similarities between the ways we both conduct our training,” said Broncheau. “It was good to see them strive to become better pilots and learn from every chance that they have while flying.”
The 8th Fighter Wing plans to participate in several more Buddy Squadron training events throughout the year with ROKAF pilots from different bases.