Kunsan Air Base to take part in Korean air show
August 22, 2008
Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, will open part of its grounds to the public in early October for a free air show put on by the U.S. and South Korean air forces.
The Oct. 4-5 show will be the first hosted by the base and Gunsan City and is expected to attract thousands of visitors, said Maj. Stephen Pinchak, assistant director of operations for Kunsan’s 35th Fighter Squadron.
The show will include flying demonstrations on both days above the nearby Saemangeum seawall and an aircraft display on the base’s emergency landing taxiway on Saturday. Visitors will be able to walk through larger aircraft and look inside the cockpits of fighter jets.
The aerial events will include a four-ship formation of U.S. and South Korean jets flying together, an aircraft rescue demonstration, and a parachuting demo by the U.S. Wings of Blue Air Force Academy jump team. Flights are expected to take place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on both days, though a schedule has not been finalized.
"This is a base effort. Everyone on the base has some role to play. Everyone is involved," Pinchak said.
The show will coincide with Gunsan City’s international auto parts expo. Pinchak said about 50,000 people are expected to attend the auto show each day, and "we’re expecting somewhere in that neighborhood" to attend the air show.
Chae Mi-young, a spokeswomen for Gunsan City’s tourism department, said getting to visit the U.S. base and see how troops live is a "big deal" for Gunsan City residents.
"Everybody knows about the air force and its capabilities, but they have never had the chance to see it or feel it, even though it takes up a big part of our hometown," she said.
The air show is a significant part of the city’s yearlong tourism campaign, Chae said.
Pinchak said parking at Kunsan Air Base is discouraged, and visitors should park at the expo center and take a free shuttle to Kunsan Air Base.