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 | Oct. 31, 2023

Vigilant Defense 24: Accept follow-on forces

By Tech. Sgt. Emili Koonce, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

During the combined flying training event known as Vigilant Defense 24, more than 25 various types of fighter, cargo, tanker, and reconnaissance aircraft from the U.S., ROK, and Royal Australian air forces are conducting flight operations from ROK and U.S. bases across the peninsula Oct. 30 - Nov. 3.

Vigilant Defense is designed to enhance combined training and here to ensure Airmen remain safe in the sky and on the ground are air traffic controllers like U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Paul Gary, 8th Operations Support Squadron ATC senior watch supervisor.

“As air traffic controllers, we have to be proficient at coordinating all airframes from fighter to cargo, military or civilian,” said Gary. “We’re always prepared for whatever may come our way, including an increase in air traffic operations during a contingency operation because for us it would be nothing more than practicing how we play.”

The center component of Kunsan AB’s three-part mission is to “Accept Follow-on Forces” and during a contingency operation, ATC’s ability to coordinate increased flight operations is vital to ensuring efficient and safe reception of those forces.

“I think it is important for Airmen to step away from exercises like this with the ability to remain flexible in situations that take you outside of your comfort zone,” said Gary. “You may have to adapt and follow someone else’s lead in a dynamic situation, and doing so could be the difference in saving or losing lives while coordinating aircraft.”

Controllers provide pilots with their flight and landing information along with weather reports all while deconflicting landing and air space congestion within their zone of responsibility. Gary explains how working together is essential to performing ATC operations.

“Building teams is particularly important,” said Gary. “The person on your left and right needs to be on the same page as you.”

CFTEs are regularly scheduled training events designed to enhance the readiness of U.S. and ROK forces and sustain capabilities, which strengthen the ROK-U.S. Alliance.


Like Us
Follow Us



Statement from President Biden on Addressing National Security Risks to the U.S. Auto Industry
March 1, 2024 - American automakers and auto workers are the best in the world. The iconic Big Three and American auto workers are leading the world in quality and innovation. A dynamic auto industry is vital to the U.S. economy...

Lancer Brigade takes part in Exercise Cobra Gold 2024
March 1, 2024 - Hundreds of soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team “Lancer Brigade,” 7th Infantry Division, arrived in the Kingdom of Thailand to participate in the 43rd iteration of Exercise Cobra Gold 2024...

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Call With Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Shin Wonsik
Feb. 29, 2024 - Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout...

Special Agents attend the 3rd Korea-US Fair Trade Criminal Enforcement Workshop
Representatives from the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division, Far East Fraud Resident Unit and the U.S. Department of Justice attended the 3rd Korea-U.S. Workshop on Antitrust Criminal Enforcement in Seoul, Republic of Korea, February 26, 2024.
Feb. 29, 2024 - Representatives from the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division, Far East Fraud Resident Unit attended the 3rd Korea-U.S. Workshop on Antitrust Criminal Enforcement in Seoul, Republic of Korea, February 26,...

Marine Aircraft Group 12 concludes Cope North 24
U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232 performs preflight inspections on an F/A-18C Hornet aircraft at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Jan. 30, 2024. Nicknamed the “Red Devils,” VMFA-232 traveled from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan to Guam as a part of their Aviation Training Relocation Program deployment to train multilaterally with allies and partners, and enhance the squadron’s combat readiness. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. David Getz)
Feb. 28, 2024 - Marines with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, completed Cope North 24, a three-week-long multinational aviation training exercise, alongside joint, partner, and allied forces in Guam and the Northern...