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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A squadron of F-15E Strike Eagles from Alaska will deploy to South Korea next month for training and familiarization with the peninsula, U.S. military officials confirmed Monday.

The fighter-bombers, from Elmendorf Air Force Base, will be in South Korea for two to four months, a U.S. Forces Korea spokesman said.

Officials won’t say which U.S. Air Force base will host the Strike Eagles.

The unit will be a squadron-sized element, officials said; typically, that means 12 to 24 aircraft.

The Strike Eagles will perform a variety of training missions, mainly aimed at familiarizing the flight crews with geographical features and topography of the Korean Peninsula, said Kevin Krejcarek, a USFK spokesman.

The F-15E, unlike the previous F-15 models, has a two-person crew: one pilot and a weapons system officer.

The Strike Eagle also is the first F-15 model to be designed with both air-to-ground and air-to-air capabilities.

It can be armed with Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMS), laser-guided bombs and up to 24,500 pounds — including fuel tanks, weapons pylons, missiles and bombs, according to the military think tank globalsecurity.org.

McDonnell Douglas has produced five versions of the F-15 since 1972.

Since late June, a squadron of F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighters from the 49th Fighter Wing at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., has been deployed to Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.

Those aircraft and the assorted air and ground crews still are in South Korea, officials said.

Both deployments are part of the U.S. military’s $11 billion in upgraded technological capabilities in South Korea, USFK said.


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