US, ROK Special Operations on the cutting edge

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Aerial gunners Senior Airman Manuel and Airman 1st Class John load a 105mm round into an M102 cannon aboard an AC-130U Spooky gunship during exercise Teak Knife 12-3 at Osan Air Base on Sept. 12.
Aerial gunners Senior Airman Manuel and Airman 1st Class John load a 105mm round into an M102 cannon aboard an AC-130U Spooky gunship during exercise Teak Knife 12-3 at Osan Air Base on Sept. 12.

US, ROK Special Operations on the cutting edge

by: Capt. Cody Chiles | .
51st Fighter Wing | .
published: September 21, 2012

OSAN AIR BASE, - U.S. Air Force and Republic of Korea Special Operations personnel conducted live-fire close-air-support training at Pilsung Range, Sept. 2-14, 2012.

The exercise focused on integrating and advancing U.S. and RoK joint and combined special operations proficiency to conduct close-air-support missions.

"Exercise Teak Knife is a routine Combined Forces Command exercise," said Army Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley, commanding general, Special Operations Command, United States Forces Korea. "These exercises highlight the long-standing military partnership, interoperability and training readiness between the two nations, helping to ensure peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the Northeast Asia region."

For the first time in over a decade, two AC-130U Spooky gunships deployed to the Korean peninsula as part of the exercise, along with approximately 100 U.S. special operations and support personnel.

"We continuously exercise the full range of special operations mission sets with our partner allies to ensure we are fully prepared for any contingency," said Lt. Col. Benjamin, Teak Knife mission commander. "Teak Knife was part of a continuous exercise schedule designed to strengthen the combined interoperability and combat readiness of Republic of Korea and U.S. forces."

RoK Special Warfare Command Special Operations Teams from around the peninsula controlled air strikes from the AC-130s along with strikes from the 51st Fighter Wing's A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and F-16 Fighting Falcons.

Additionally, five personnel from the 51st Security Forces Squadron received fire support training to enhance combat readiness in support of the 51st Fighter Wing's mission to defend Osan AB.

"These are not your typical close-air-support missions," said Maj. William, Special Tactics commander. "The joint terminal control attack operations being conducted during this training were highly advanced and extremely beneficial to the RoK and U.S. alliance."

During the exercise, U.S. and RoK forces practiced specialized techniques, tactics and procedures associated with radioing in targets, striking adversaries with various munitions, targeting enemy threat capabilities, teaching allied aircraft capabilities and practicing horizontal and vertical aircraft deconfliction measures.

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