7th Air Force capabilities on display at Sacheon Airshow

by 1st Lt. Lauren Linscott
Kunsan Air Base

SACHEON BASE, Republic of Korea --  For the first time in years, aircraft from Kunsan and Osan Air Bases appeared on the aprons of Sacheon Base. On Oct. 20, 2016, an F-16 from the 80th Fighter Squadron and an A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 25th Fighter Squadron landed at the annual Sacheon Airshow to provide static support to our Republic of Korea Air Force partners.

Over the next four days, children and adults alike stopped to take photos with the pilots and aircraft, ask questions, and learn about the capabilities the United States brings to the peninsula.

“The ROK maintains F-16’s in their fleet, so the 8th Fighter Wing has the privilege to bring even more firepower to the fight,” said Capt. Matthew Alexander, 80th Fighter Squadron pilot. “We work together to be able to deter aggression from any potential adversaries we may encounter.”

While the U.S. F-16 units fly in conjunction with ROK F-16’s, the A-10 is strictly an American asset.

“The 25th Fighter Squadron offers one of the best means of close air support here, providing sustainment of the front lines in the event of war,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Crowell, 25th Aircraft Maintenance avionics system craftsman. “One of our first priorities would be the search and rescue of downed Airmen, in which the A-10 is truly in a class all its own.”

Showcasing these two aircraft alongside our Korean partners creates a unique opportunity for our host nation citizens to see how closely our two nations work together.

“It’s been a pleasure working with the ROKAF representatives to be a part of this airshow,” said Alexander. “It’s been a great opportunity to build even better relationships with our community.”

The sentiment was shared by ROKAF as well.

“Despite all difficulties, we were able to overcome it with the cooperation of all sectors,” said ROKAF Lt. Col. Soon-Guen Bae, Sacheon Airshow planning chief. “I would like to express my gratitude of the participation of the United States Air Force.”

The airshow, which was attended by more than 260,000 people, featured 33 static aircraft displays and more than eight performance teams, including the ROK’s premier air performance team, the Black Eagles.

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