Six United States Air Force F-35 Lightning aircraft arrived from the 356th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, in Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, July 5, 2022, to conduct combined training with the Republic of Korea Air Force. During the training, U.S. forces and Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) conducted familiarization and routine training flights to enhance interoperability between the two Air Forces to perform and operate on and around the Korean Peninsula.
“We got to sit down and have tactical discussions about how they’re employing their aircraft in Korea. We were able to provide ideas and ways to improve training and understand more about what they do. Our primary objective is to safely execute tactics between us and ROKAF F-35’s. To show our ironclad alliance here in South Korea,” said Lt. Col. Ryan ‘VooDoo’ Worrell, 356th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander.
“We’re from different countries and we speak different languages but we’re both fluent in tactics and that makes us lethal. Overall we were able to nail it down, fly safely and accomplish the mission. This is just one small step for the future of our integration between our two countries,” said Capt. Steven ‘Magnum’ Trojan, 356th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron pilot.
Flying approximately 40 hours and 30 sorties alongside ROKAF; this marks the first time in five years since the U.S. has had 5th generation fighters work alongside our South Korea partners. The U.S. and ROK maintain a strong relationship derived from shared interests and values. The partnership plays an integral part to the safety and security of the Indo-Pacific region, with training events filling a vital role in maintaining friendship and alliances. Allied partners are a significant strategic asset offering a competitive edge in securing common interests while promoting shared values.