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NEWS | April 19, 2024

U.S.-ROK SOF participate in routine Airborne training for KFT 24

By Courtesy Story, 7th Air Force

Approximately 200 U.S. and Republic of Korea special operations forces personnel participated in a static-line Airborne training operation today as part of Korea Flying Training 24, a combined ROK and U.S. exercise running April 12-26.

The jumpers, assigned to the ROK Special Warfare Command and U.S. Special Operations Command Korea, landed in a drop zone at Osan Air Base. They were carried by eight aircraft, including U.S. C-17s, ROK and U.S. C-130s, and ROK CASA 235s, working in concert to complete the jump training.

“Today was a great example of how we can effectively conduct cross-component training in support of various objectives involving a larger scale of combined SOF and joint personnel and units from on and off-Peninsula,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. James P. Johnson III, SOCKOR Special Operations Liaison Element director. “The complexity of this long-planned, mass-jump training complements more discrete or conventional options for senior leaders.”

The successful, routine event required months of deliberate planning between personnel at the tactical and operational levels. The desired training objectives focused on the proficient integration of joint and combined forces, credibly preparing them to defend the Republic of Korea against belligerent aggression while maintaining stability in Northeast Asia.

According to Johnson, credible training reinforces a broader integrated deterrence posture.

“Training like this validates a range of scalable options for our senior leaders to ensure our combined defense of the peninsula,” Johnson said.

Similar to today’s jumps, most special operations missions are enabled by joint service partners, substantially increasing SOF’s capabilities and effectiveness.

“Joint training provides immeasurable value to numerous Airmen across the 7th Air Force, giving our aircrew, airfield operations, and combat support personnel a chance to integrate closely with our SOF partners,” said Maj. Rachel Buitrago, 7th AF Public Affairs director. “It maintains our ability to support the operational effectiveness of the combined force throughout the region.”