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OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — U.S. airmen throughout South Korea will spend next week in a training exercise aimed at honing their wartime skills.

The U.S. 7th Air Force (Air Forces Korea) will hold the exercise along with its South Korean counterparts.

"This one will be a large-scale one and its goal is to challenge and test our warfighting skills across the entire spectrum of war," said Brig. Gen. Harold W. Moulton, 7th Air Force vice commander and chief of staff of the Air Component Command at Osan.

The quarterly peninsula operational readiness exercise will involve all 8,000 or so U.S. airmen stationed in South Korea, including the fighter wings at Osan and Kunsan air bases. Some U.S. soldiers, Marines and sailors will also be involved.

U.S. and South Korean pilots will fly together on some mock combat missions.

Airmen will be tested in a broad range of combat tasks during the exercise, officials said.

Fighter pilots will engage in mock dogfights and other air-to-air action. They’ll also practice close support of ground troops and will fly mock attacks on enemy ground facilities and other targets.

There’ll also be some "unique things we’re going to try," Moulton said. They include directing pilots to strike a target in one place, then throwing an abrupt change that requires them to instead change course and race after a different and "time-sensitive" target, he said.

"We want to create a realistic scenario that gives us a chance to challenge our warfighting skills," Moulton said.

Ground crews also will be plenty busy, fueling and arming jets, launching and recovering them, and doing the maintenance necessary to keep them in working order, all under simulated wartime pressures.

In addition, Air Force security forces troops will practice defending their bases against ground attack.


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