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NEWS | Feb. 5, 2015

USAF, ROKAF Strengthen Bonds at Buddy Wing 15-2

By Senior Airman Katrina Heikkinen

Airmen from the 8th Fighter Wing sharpened combat skills and gained insight from their ROK Air Force counterparts during Exercise Buddy Wing 15-2 at Daegu AB, ROK, Feb. 3 to 6.

During this iteration of Buddy Wing, Wolf Pack Airmen deployed to Daegu to train alongside Airmen of the 11th Fighter Wing, learning how to operate as one force with dissimilar fighter aircraft as they integrated mission planning, briefing, flying and debriefing together.

"As the project officer for ROKAF during this exercise, I've been working with Capt. Duncan [8th FW Buddy Wing project officer and F-16 pilot] intensively for the past two weeks," said Capt. Won Ho Lim, 102nd Fighter Squadron F-15K Slam Eagle pilot. "This has been a really great experience for me. This exercise is not like Max Thunder or RED FLAG - it's much smaller so we've been able to have much more face-to-face interactions, which has allowed us to focus more on the relationships between USAF and ROKAF."

Throughout the four-day exercise, pilots exchanged tactics and procedures with their ROKAF counterparts.

"This exercise was unique because we came to a ROKAF base and operated at their facilities," said Maj. Dean Laansma, 80th Fighter Squadron assistance director of operations and Buddy Wing detachment commander. "It was advantageous to see how they ran their operations as we assimilated ourselves to them and increased our ability to understand and work with each other." 

Buddy Wing exercises ensure that USAF and ROKAF Airmen continuously enhance combat capabilities so that if the need arises, they are ready to fight tonight as a combined force.

 

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