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NEWS | June 5, 2024

US, ROK Air Forces conduct live munitions training with B-1B, F-15Ks at Pilsung Range

By Maj. Rachel Buitrago, 7th Air Force

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer joined Republic of Korea Air Force F-15Ks Slam Eagles for live munitions and close air support training at the Pilsung Range, Republic of Korea, in an event designed to enhance the interoperability, lethality, and readiness of U.S. and ROK air forces.

One B-1B from the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, currently assigned to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and two ROK F-15Ks from 11th Fighter Wing, Daegu Air Base, successfully released live GBU-38, 500-pound joint direct attack munitions, simultaneously striking multiple simulated targets -- testing the ROK-U.S. Alliance’s combined close air support and precision strike capabilities.

The training marked the first time the B-1 has conducted a live munitions drop on the Korean peninsula since 2017 and offered the alliance its latest opportunity to prepare for combat to defend the Korean peninsula, cementing its combined defense posture and demonstrating extended deterrence.

“This training showcases the incredible capabilities of our combined forces to simultaneously strike multiple targets in a contested environment,” said Lt. Gen. David Iverson, U.S. Force Korea deputy commander and Seventh Air Force commander. “The tremendous capabilities of ROK and U.S. airpower is an overwhelming, asymmetric warfighting advantage for our combined force that adversaries cannot match.”

The B-1 carries the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the U.S. Air Force inventory and can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time. Its unique blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry wings and turbofan afterburning engines, combine to provide long range, maneuverability and high speed while enhancing survivability – making it a highly versatile, multi-mission weapon system.

“Today’s integration with the Republic of Korea demonstrated the ability of our B-1 fleet to conduct precision targeting and strike with live weapons in an unfamiliar location,” said Lt. Col. Christian Hoover, 37th EBS commander. “The partnership with ROK allows us to support National Security objectives through the speed, flexibility, and readiness of our strategic bombers.”

Following the live-drop, the B-1 joined U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs, U.S. Air Force F-16s, and KC-135 Stratotankers, and ROK F-35As and KF-16s for air-to-air training over the western region of South Korea. The training offered the opportunity for fifth and fourth generation aircraft to integrate with bombers and conduct live, realistic practice, further strengthening the combined capability of U.S. and ROK forces, providing a powerful deterrent to potential aggressors.

​"The security of the Korean Peninsula is a top priority for the U.S., and training events like this one demonstrate our ironclad commitment to defend our alliance and uphold regional stability," said Iverson. “The ROK-U.S. Alliance is a powerful symbol of our shared commitment to peace in the region."