Kunsan F-16s, Hill F-35s conduct flight training over South Korea during exercise Vigilant Ace 18. This marks the first time the F-16 and 5th generation aircraft participated in the annually scheduled exercise.
Units from the Republic of Korea (RoK) and the United States commenced on 4 December the five-day â€˜Vigilant Ace 18′ aerial exercise amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula over Pyongyang’s testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
The air combat exercise, which involves about 12,000 US personnel along with airmen from the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF), is designed to “enhance inter-operability between US and Republic of Korea forces and increase the combat effectiveness of both nations”, according to a statement by the US Air Force (USAF).
“US Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy personnel will train with air assets from the Republic of Korea, flying 230 aircraft at eight US and RoK military installations,” the USAF had announced on 25 November.