Pilot Training: 36th FS host Buddy Wing 15-3

Pilot Training: 36th FS host Buddy Wing 15-3

by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster, 51st Fighter Wing, Public Affairs
Osan Air Base

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea  -- This is the third in a series of articles focusing on the 12 key tasks at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The way Team Osan focuses on the 51st Fighter Wing's command priorities and guards the freedom of 51 million people will be explored this week through the key task of pilot training. Concluding the series will be a wrap-up article with a video showing the comprehensive spectrum of how Team Osan works on the key tasks.

Training pilots to be ready for Contingency operations is an important task. U.S. Air Force pilots get the unique chance to train alongside pilots from the Republic of Korea air force. The 36th Fighter Squadron hosted Buddy Wing 15-3 this spring at Osan Air Base, ROK, where pilots from each air force practice their air-to-air combat skills together.

The buddy wing program is a weeklong exercise where USAF and ROKAF pilots fly combat training missions together. This small scale exercise enables the pilots to share strategies and tactics with each other.

During the exercise 36th FS and ROKAF pilots planned, flew, and debriefed training missions together. The training gave the pilots from each air force an opportunity to collaborate on more effective ways to execute different flying scenarios.

Capt. Byung Hyuk Jeon, ROKAF pilot with the 159th Fighter Squadron from Jungwon Air Base, ROK, stated that the buddy wing program gave him and the other participating ROKAF pilots valuable training.

"The program is very beneficial to us and to the ROKAF because the strategies and tactics for each training mission are more developed and more realistic," he said. "We are able to get a lot of practical experiences from the training and from this program. "

The exercise taught the ROKAF pilots skills they can use when they return to their home station.

"This exercise showed us the capabilities the pilots from the USAF possess and what is possible from that capability," said Jeon. "Getting a chance to work closely with our U.S. counterparts is very useful because of the techniques we learned and also for if we were to have a real world incident on the peninsula."

The Buddy Wing program gives members of Osan a chance to show hospitality to its host nation. Continuing to build an aesthetic relationship between the U.S. and ROK will lead to a continued long- lasting friendship. This program is just another way Team Osan is training with our close allies, guarding the freedom of 51 million people and preparing for any threat to stability within the Korean Peninsula.

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