Friday, April 16, 2010

'Buddy Wing' wraps up at Osan

by Staff Sgt. Eric Burks
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

4/15/2010 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Airmen of Osan's 25th Fighter Squadron and the Republic of Korea's 237th Tactical Fighter Squadron trained together this week during the spring Buddy Wing 10-02 exercise, which concluded April 15.

Buddy Wing is designed to introduce and review tactics, exchange ideas, and improve interoperability between U.S. Air Force and ROKAF pilots, maintainers and support personnel.

The exercise kicked off April 13 as the 237th TFS Airmen arrived here in their KA-1 aircraft, followed by an afternoon of academics and briefings with the 25th FS. Over the next two days, 25th FS A-10 Thunderbolt II and the KA-1 aircraft participated in air training exercises, flying joint missions based on simulated scenarios.

"We rarely get an opportunity to work and fly in such close proximity to our ROKAF counterparts," said 1st Lt. Edward Brady, 25th FS. "The exercise is an excellent chance to learn the other's operating techniques and develop a closer relationship with our fellow forward air controllers."

Maj. Jwa-Ryong Park, 237th TFS intelligence commander and pilot, said that it was a great opportunity for the Airmen to share valuable knowledge with their allies.

"The A-10 pilots are very proficient and have a lot of combat experience," he said. "We have a lot of expertise flying in Korea and are very familiar with the terrain, so there is a lot we can learn from each other."

While the language barrier is always the greatest challenge, Major Park said the training provided at Buddy Wing improves coordination and interoperability. For instance, greater familiarity with the different terminologies used during air missions can greatly enhance communication in Joint exercises and operations.

"It's important to fly with our allies," said Maj. Andrew Taylor, 25th FS. "If conflict breaks out, we'll be fighting alongside them, so we need to be training together as often as possible."

Buddy Wing exercises are held here twice annually and the 25th and 36th Fighter Squadrons alternate as hosts.


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