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 | April 27, 2015

Kunsan Takes Flight at Max Thunder 15-1

By Senior Airman Taylor Curry, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Wolf Pack Airmen joined other members of U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Republic of Korea Air Force units at Gwangju Air Base, ROK, for Exercise Max Thunder 15-1, April 10-24.

"This is the seventh year of Max Thunder, and its core principles remain much the same today as when it began," said Col. Brian Carr, 51st Fighter Wing vice commander and Max Thunder 15-1 deployed forces commander. "These intricate scenarios continue to focus on the combined and joint integration of air power across many disciplines while enhancing the capability of ROKAF and U.S. flying units to conduct combat air operations together."

Max Thunder is a regularly scheduled flying exercise held twice per year and is the largest flying exercise held on the Korean Peninsula. This latest exercise included more than 750 U.S. personnel, approximately 170 of those hailing from Kunsan Air Base.

"This iteration of Max Thunder was a great opportunity for Wolf Pack Airmen to work alongside our fellow Air Force, Marine and ROKAF counterparts at an unfamiliar base," said Col. Ken "Wolf" Ekman, 8th Fighter Wing commander. "Practicing realistic combat scenarios in a different environment not only sharpens our own capabilities, but makes us stronger as a combined force. This ultimately enhances the Alliance's ability to fight tonight."

A major objective of this large-scale employment exercise involved increasing U.S. and ROK interoperability with dissimilar aircraft, enabling aircrew members to be battle-ready for any potential situation.

"This was a golden opportunity to mission plan together and to better understand each other's capabilities," said Lt. Col. Elika Bowmer, Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 225 commanding officer. "Putting all these units in one place and having face-to-face conversations forces us to break down communication barriers and exchange ideas, making us more tactically fit to counter any threats."

While Max Thunder exercises generally aim to strengthen interoperability between U.S. and ROK airpower assets, a particular goal for this exercise was to increase combined command and control and intelligence coordination.

"This was the first time we co-located our U.S. and ROKAF exercise staff intel representatives, and this integration had an extremely positive impact on our exercise scenarios," said Maj. Erik Axt, 7th Air Force chief of training and Max Thunder 15-1 exercise director. "We were able to plan and execute more sorties than at any previous Max Thunder, which provided ample training opportunities for our pilots to practice combined operations."

While Wolf Pack pilots flew multiple sorties throughout the two-week period, maintainers focused on getting the jets in the air.

"My mission is to make sure these jets fly," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Conley, 8th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron jet engine mechanic. "It's an amazing feeling being able to operate here at Gwangju with our ROKAF brothers and sisters. I really appreciate the opportunity to learn from them and see the differences between our operations. I look forward to participating in future exercises with them." 
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
333,837
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Australia, U.S. Agree to Expand Defense Cooperation
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, far right, participates in a joint news briefing with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, second from right; Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong; and Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles following the 2022 Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations in Washington, Dec. 6, 2022.
Dec. 6, 2022 - A discussion between the U.S. secretaries of defense and state and their Australian counterparts ended with a commitment to deepen defense cooperation...

USS Ronald Reagan Sailors Attend Reagan National Defense Forum & Visit Reagan Ranch
Dec. 5, 2022 - Five Sailors currently assigned to the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) visited California to attend the Reagan National Defense Forum (RNDF) and learn more about the ship’s...

Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Commences Training Exercise
(Nov. 29, 2022) The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transits San Diego Bay. Abraham Lincoln is currently underway conducting routine operations in U.S. 3rd Fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Madison Cassidy)
Dec. 2, 2022 - The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) commenced its Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX) demonstrating its commitment to maintaining America’s advantage at sea Nov. 29.The strike group, commanded by Rear Adm. Kevin...

U.S. INDOPACOM HOSTS VIRTUAL INDO-PACIFIC CHIEFS OF DEFENSE MEETING
Dec. 2, 2022 - Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, hosted a virtual meeting Nov. 30, with the Indo-Pacific Chiefs of Defense to continue discussions on challenges, opportunities, and security issues in the...

USS Tripoli Returns Home from First Deployment
Amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli (LHA 7) transits San Diego Harbor as the ship returns to homeport, Nov. 29, 2022. Tripoli returned to Naval Base San Diego following its initial deployment to the U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleets in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Dec. 1, 2022 - SAN DIEGO -- Tripoli’s deployment to the U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet areas of operations was particularly significant for its diplomatic and military engagements with regional partners and Allies, as well as successful integration...