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NEWS | Feb. 3, 2015

Buddy Wing 15-2 Kicks Off at Daegu Air Base

By Senior Airman Divine Cox, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 8th Fighter Wing deployed four F-16 Fighting Falcons to Daegu Air Base to participate in Exercise Buddy Wing 15-2 alongside the ROK Air Force's 11th Fighter Wing, Feb. 3-6, 2015.

Buddy Wing exercises are part of a combined fighter exchange program designed to improve interoperability between USAF and ROKAF fighter squadrons. These exercises are conducted multiple times throughout the year in order to promote cultural awareness and sharpen combined combat capabilities.

"Buddy Wing exercises give us an opportunity to fly alongside ROKAF pilots in realistic training scenarios," said Maj. Dean Laansma, 80th Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations and Buddy Wing 15-2 detachment commander. "We are enhancing our ability to operate together and learn from each other, which in return, strengthens our combined efforts."

During flying operations, Wolf Pack pilots coordinate with 11 FW pilots on all aspects of training including mission planning, briefing, flying and debriefing.

According to Capt. Daniel Duncan, 80 FS pilot and Buddy Wing 15-2 project officer, this exercise is vital to the readiness of the ROK-U.S. Alliance to ensure not only a better understanding of each other's forces, but to learn from each other's strengths.

"What's unique about this iteration of Buddy Wing is that we get to train with ROKAF F-15K Slam Eagles," said Duncan. "This provides us an unparalleled opportunity to learn how to operate not only with ROKAF, but with dissimilar aircraft."

If we are going to be ready together, we must train together, he added.

After 60 years, the ROK-U.S. Alliance continues to be one of the longest standing and most successful alliances in modern history.

"This invaluable training opportunity increases the confidence, capabilities and cohesion between allies and gives all participants a realistic idea of how we would operate together in a real-world situation," Laansma said. "I look forward to exchanging ideas and tactics this week."

 

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