U.S., ROK airmen are working together
Before he became the “Wolf,” Col. C.Q. Brown was commandant of an elite weapons training school in Nevada.
Last week, the 8th Fighter Wing “Wolfpack” commander at Kunsan Air Base spoke to a group of about 30 South Korean pilots about the U.S. Air Force Weapons School — its mission, how its pilots are selected, and what their careers are like after they graduate from the six-month program.
The briefing was the latest example of increasing ties between the U.S. and South Korean air forces at Kunsan.
“If we’re attacked, we’ll have to work side-by-side. The more we do this day-to-day training, the more we will be prepared to be in combat,” Brown said in an interview.
U.S. and South Korean airmen at Kunsan held a joint-training exercise in June and a weapons-loading competition earlier this month. U.S. officials plan to begin monthly combined training exercises when the South Koreans, whose planes were grounded after an F-16 stationed at a South Korean base crashed in July, begin flying again.
In September, U.S. and South Korean forces will hold their first Combined Major Accident Response Exercise. And the two air forces hold social functions at least once a month.
U.S. and ROK airmen also train at Osan Air Base, including three days a quarter when pilots from both countries train together.
At Kunsan, which has two F-16 squadrons, South Korean pilots began flying F-16s in December 2006.
“We have a common piece of equipment; that has probably opened the door even more than it has in the past,” Brown said. “We have a common point of reference that draws us together even closer.”
South Korean Maj. Park Dae-seo, of the 111th Squadron, said the two air forces are trying to work together more often.
“If we communicate with each other more often … we can both improve,” he said. “We are in the process (of trying) to catch up with one of the best air forces in the world.”