An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Feb. 23, 2023

US-ROKAF RAPCON Partnership Dominates Airspace

By Staff Sgt. Sadie Colbert 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- With many moving parts in the sky, the 8th Operations Support Squadron (OSS) air traffic control (ATC) radar approach control (RAPCON) flight ensures all traffic are in communication and safely protected with their ability to be the “eyes in the sky”.

“The RAPCON gives expeditious clearances to allow rapid response to any threat, allowing the ‘fight tonight’ mentality,” said Staff Sgt. James Massey II, 8th OSS air traffic control RAPCON watch supervisor.

The flight maintains 24/7 surveillance over all activity within the airspace, contributing to the Wolf Pack’s F-16 Fighting Falcons joint, bilateral air-superiority over the Korean peninsula.

“Your head must constantly be on a swivel, and you are always multi-tasking,” Massey said. “There are many times where you must make a split-second decision and it needs to be the correct one. If you make the wrong one, then you are putting someone else’s life in danger.”

The training load response to real-world threats and the language barrier with joint and multi-national operations, contribute to an increased complexity within an already demanding career field. Thankfully, Massey said they don’t have to address those challenges alone.

“There are not many workplaces where we must heavily depend on each other,” said Republic of Korea Air Force Master Sgt. Seong Jin Kim, 38th Fighter Group operating branch radar controller. “That special environment makes us more connected, and it enriches our partnership.”

Together, they train and develop their controllers through live on-the-job training and various simulations. Additionally, they ensure to work with host-nation ATC facilities and U.S. flying community to establish standard procedures across the peninsula.

“In the work environment, ROKAF ATC borrows a lot of concepts from U.S. Air Force ATC, so this is a great chance to observe how they work with advanced stations and utilize regulations to keep control over the airspace,” Kim said.

Massey said he appreciates the value ROKAF adds to the mission as an indispensable asset to the Kunsan ATC team. They are both grateful for having each other to lean on.

“I’m glad we work so cohesively and are helpful to each other,” Kim said.


Like Us
Follow Us



Marine Littoral Regiment Concludes Historic Exercise, Set to Join Stand-in Forces: ‘From This Point Forward, We Are Integrating Them into Our Operations’
In this file photo, U.S. Marines with 3d Littoral Combat Team, 3d Marine Littoral Regiment, 3d Marine Division, conduct Range 400, a company-level combined arms training event, during Marine Littoral Regiment Training Exercise (MLR-TE) at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, Feb. 9, 2023. MLR-TE is a large-scale, service-level exercise designed to train, develop, and experiment with the 3d MLR as part of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force, led by 3d Marine Division, operating as a Stand-in Force across a contested and distributed maritime environment.
March 14, 2023 - CAMP COURTNEY, OKINAWA, Japan -- MLR-TE marked the first field training exercise featuring a MLR with all of its subordinate battalions integrated into a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) operating as a Stand-in-Force...

Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on AUKUS Optimal Pathway Announcement
March 14, 2023 - WASHINGTON -- Today, I was honored to join President Biden, Australian Prime Minister Albanese, and U.K. Prime Minister Sunak as they announced the AUKUS Optimal Pathway, a commitments-based, phased plan for Australia to...

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary at Camp Zama
Members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force at Camp Zama stand at attention on the parade deck March 4 for a ceremony marking the JGSDF’s 10-year anniversary co-located on the installation with the U.S. Army in Japan.
March 14, 2023 - CAMP ZAMA, Japan -- The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) celebrated its 10-year anniversary of the establishment of a JGSDF camp at Camp Zama with a ceremony and reception held here March 4.The event, hosted by Col...

Public Advisory: U.S. Coast Guard Invites Public in Saipan to View Coast Guard Helicopter, Meet the Crew
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew deployed to Guam from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point in Hawaii flies patterns to assess winds and terrain before conducting rescue hoist training at Sella Bay Overlook in Guam on March 8, 2023. Eight members of GFD's Battalion A worked with the aircrew and personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam response department.
March 14, 2023 - SANTA RITA, Guam -- A U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and crew are scheduled to hold a search and rescue demonstration and static display in Saipan on March 18 and 19,...

U.S. Participating in Second IPEF Negotiating Round in Indonesia
U.S. Participating in Second indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity Negotiating Round in Indonesia.
March 14, 2023 - JAKARTA , U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Indonesia -- A U.S. interagency delegation is in Bali, Indonesia for the second negotiating round of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), which will take place...