U.S. and South Korean F-16 pilots conducted joint “defend the base” training in the skies above Kunsan Air Base on Friday.

South Korean 111th Fighter Squadron pilots — who transitioned from the F-5 to the F-16 in December — joined with members of the U.S. 35th Fighter Squadron and the 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit to learn to work together as a lethal force, according to a Kunsan Air Base news release.

“I thought this was a good chance for both of us to develop and improve overall tactics systems by comparing and analyzing each other’s knowledge,” Capt. Jeong-geun Lee, a pilot with the 111th Fighter Squadron, stated in the release.

Capt. Luther Cross, a 35th Fighter Squadron pilot, said in the release that the training is part of Kunsan’s three-tiered mission of “defend the base, accept follow-on forces and take the fight north.”

Col. CQBrown, 8th Fighter Wing commander, praised the South Korean pilots.

“They are true professionals and we are proud to serve together with them in maintaining peace and stability in the region,” Brown said in the release.

The next joint training exercise is scheduled later this month.

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