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NEWS | June 27, 2023

Kunsan Airmen ace RED FLAG-Alaska 23-2

By Senior Airman Karla Parra, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Kunsan Air Base Airmen trained with U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, Japan Self Defense Force and Republic of Korea Air Force service members during RED FLAG-Alaska 23-2, a Pacific Air Forces-sponsored annual exercise designed to enhance readiness in a simulated combat environment, June 12 through 23.

Airmen of the 80th Fighter Squadron and 80th Fighter Generation Squadron sharpened their tactics, techniques and procedures during the large-force, multilateral and integrated combat training across 77,000 square miles at the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC).

“RED FLAG has been occurring for over 40 years, giving young Airmen the experience of what could be their first five combat missions,” said Col. Mike McCarthy, RF-A 23-2 deployed forces commander and 8th Operations Group commander.

With approximately 2,500 personnel and 70 participating aircraft, RF-A 23-2 served as an ideal platform for international engagement. This iteration exhibited interoperability amongst allies and partners including the JASDF and ROKAF.

“We are excited to welcome JASDF and ROKAF to this iteration of RED FLAG-Alaska,” said Maj. William Hock, 354th Operations Group Detachment 1 assistant director of operations. “Their participation allows the opportunity to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures while we train for full spectrum engagements and large-scale joint engagement.”

Each iteration of RF-A provides a unique opportunity to integrate various forces into joint, coalition and multilateral training focused on varying training objectives. This iteration focused on airlift operations with a capstone joint forcible entry exercise.

“The exercise has grown and developed over the years and one of the best aspects of it is giving us a venue for our joint and coalition partners to come together and enhance our ability to communicate, integrate and successfully complete the mission together,” said McCarthy.

The annual exercise is a commitment by the Department of Defense to ensure that U.S. Forces are capable and ready to face the challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.


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