7th Air Force conducts major exercise
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Thousands of U.S. airmen across South Korea took part this past week in a training exercise aimed at drilling them in doing their jobs the way they’d have to in wartime.
Called Beverly Bulldog 10-01, the mock air campaign began Monday and was to have wrapped up Friday. It involved more than 7,200 U.S. airmen at Osan and Kunsan air bases and other points around the peninsula in an air war exercise of the type the U.S. 7th Air Force (Air Forces Korea) holds peninsula-wide at least twice yearly.
Also taking part were about 125 soldiers of the U.S. Army’s Patriot missile unit in South Korea, the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
Fighter pilots maneuvered their combat jets during dogfight training in the skies over South Korea, carried out mock attacks on enemy ground forces and other targets, and practiced air strikes that require coordination with forward air controllers. Other air crews conducted combat search-and-rescue missions.
Ground crews worked to launch and recover the jets in this week’s below-freezing temperatures. Security forces practiced defending their bases against simulated enemy ground attacks. Medical personnel practiced treating the wounded.
Airmen also practiced giving first aid to themselves and wounded buddies.
Airmen and soldiers also performed their jobs under a simulated chemical weapons attack.
Airmen in South Korea must be ready, said 1st Lt. Chris Hoyler, a spokesman for Osan’s 51st Fighter Wing.
“Exercising helps to keep us that way,” Hoyler said.
Some South Korean air force units also participated, said Maj. Denise Kerr, a 7th Air Force spokeswoman.