Republic of Korea air force airmen from Seosan Air Base visited
Osan's 36th Fighter Squadron Dec. 11 to Dec. 13 to participate in
Seventh Air Force's quarterly "buddy wing" program. The purpose of
the buddy wing program is to exchange ideas, introduce tactics and
improve interoperability between the U.S. and ROK air forces.
Two ROKAF KF-16C Fighting Falcon pilots and seven ROKAF
maintenance personnel worked beside Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon
pilots and maintenance personnel for three days, sharing knowledge
and building friendships. During this three-day training, Airmen
from both fighter squadrons will extensively brief tactics planning
and fly sorties.
"We flew two sorties of four versus two tactical intercepts,"
said Capt. Paul Davidson, a pilot from the 36th FS and the
squadron's buddy wing project officer. "The ROKAF flew their KF-16s
as number three and number four in the four-ship formations.
"This was the first buddy wing where we integrated the ROKAF
into U.S. Air Force four-ship tactics. It went well and I hope
future buddy wings will continue to build on these four-ship
tactics with more complicated scenarios," Captain Davidson
"During wartime, we will fly as combined packages with U.S. Air
Force aircraft, and this training will improve our tactics and
communication skills," said Capt. Young-Kwon Ko, an KC-F-16C ROKAF
pilot. "There are differences in ROKAF and U.S. Air Force tactics,
and this training has allowed us to understand the good points of
both so we can share and apply to ROKAF procedures."
"I was surprised by the way the U.S. Air Force works," said
Capt. Jeong-Ho Cho, a KC-F-16C ROKAF pilot. "This was a great
learning exercise but it was hard to grasp all of the information
in just one visit. I would like to see more combined ROKAF-USAF
operations to improve our capabilities to maintain security and
peace on the Korean peninsula."
Captain Cho also credits the program for giving him a better
understanding of the US Air Force's tactics and that he will share
his buddy wing experience with other ROKAF pilots in his
"It was good to get to know fighter pilots in the ROKAF. We have
similar interests, a desire to improve our tactics and a love for
flying. The weather was great on the second day's sortie and it was
an impressive sight to see a four ship of F-16's in a wall
formation high above the clouds. The ROKAF pilots were very
professional, capable pilots and were able to integrate well with
our flight," Captain Davidson said.
The buddy wing program is held quarterly for F-16 squadrons.
It's designed to rotate every quarter between U.S. and South Korean
bases. [ANN Thanks Senior Master Sgt. Marvin Krause, 51st Fighter
Wing Public Affairs]