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An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon from Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, taxis at Cesar Basa Air Base, Philippines, Jan. 18, 2019.
An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon from Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, taxis at Cesar Basa Air Base, Philippines, Jan. 18, 2019. (Anthony Small/U.S. Air Force)

Air Force F-16s from the Korean Peninsula have been flying and training with their Philippine counterparts since late last week at Cesar Basa Air Base.

The Fighting Falcons from the 113th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, along with their aircrews and maintenance and support personnel, have joined Philippine FA-50 light attack jets for drills in the air, while grounds crews from both nations train on intelligence, maintenance and flight-line and back-shop procedures, according to an Air Force statement issued Jan. 18.

The exercise — called Bilateral Air Contingent Exchange-Philippines, or BACE-P — allows both militaries to work together to “deepen relationships, which ultimately supports maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Col. Christopher Faurot, Pacific Air Force’s senior officer in charge of the exchange, said in the statement.

It was unclear when this year’s BACE-P would end; however, past exercises have lasted nearly two weeks.

In previous exchanges, different aircraft types — including Air Force A-10s, C-130s and HH-60s and Navy E/A-18 Growlers — were put to work exercising a range of airpower capabilities.

The exercises started up in April 2016 at Clark Air Base, formerly a U.S. installation and now a Philippine facility, the Air Force said.

godbold.theron@stripes.com

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