US Air Force F-35’s Conduct Combined Training with Republic of Korea Air Force
US Air Force F-35’s Conduct Combined Training with Republic of Korea Air Force

US Air Force F-35s Conduct Combined Training with Republic of Korea Air Force

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.

Two F-35A Lightning II’s taxi down a runway at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, July 11, 2022.
Two F-35A Lightning II’s taxi down a runway at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, July 11, 2022. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shannon Braaten)

“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.

Senior Airman Thomas Trail, 354th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron maintainer, signals an F-35A Lightning II pilot at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, July 5, 2022.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shannon Braaten)

“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.

ROKAF F-35 pilots from the 152nd Fighter Squadron, stand in front of their squadron building with U.S. Air Force F-35 pilots at Cheonju Air Base, Republic of Korea, July 14, 2022.(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kenneth W. Norman)

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.

U.S. Air Force and Republic of Korea Air Force F-35A Lighting II aircraft soar through the skies over Korea July 12, 2022 in a tight formation.(U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Trevor Gordnier)