Friday, September 21, 2012

US and ROK Special Operations conduct cutting edge Close Air Support (CAS)

by Capt. Cody Chiles
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Rounds from an AC-130U Spooky gunship impact Pilsung Range during exercise Teak Knife 12-3, a joint training exercise that focuses on increased combat readiness with joint close-air-support training, Sept. 12, 2012, in the Republic of Korea. The AC-130U incorporates side-firing weapons integrated with sophisticated sensor, navigation and fire control systems to provide precision combat support day or night, as well as during adverse weather conditions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Raymond Mills) Hi-res

9/19/2012 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Air Force and Republic of Korea Special Operations personnel conducted live-fire close-air-support training at Pilsung Range, Sept. 2-14, 2012.

The exercise focused on integrating and advancing U.S. and RoK joint and combined special operations proficiency to conduct close-air-support missions.

"Exercise Teak Knife is a routine Combined Forces Command exercise," said Army Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley, commanding general, Special Operations Command, United States Forces Korea. "These exercises highlight the long-standing military partnership, interoperability and training readiness between the two nations, helping to ensure peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the Northeast Asia region."

For the first time in over a decade, two AC-130U Spooky gunships deployed to the Korean peninsula as part of the exercise, along with approximately 100 U.S. special operations and support personnel.

"We continuously exercise the full range of special operations mission sets with our partner allies to ensure we are fully prepared for any contingency," said Lt. Col. Benjamin, Teak Knife mission commander. "Teak Knife was part of a continuous exercise schedule designed to strengthen the combined interoperability and combat readiness of Republic of Korea and U.S. forces."

RoK Special Warfare Command Special Operations Teams from around the peninsula controlled air strikes from the AC-130s along with strikes from the 51st Fighter Wing's A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and F-16 Fighting Falcons.

Additionally, five personnel from the 51st Security Forces Squadron received fire support training to enhance combat readiness in support of the 51st Fighter Wing's mission to defend Osan AB.

"These are not your typical close-air-support missions," said Maj. William, Special Tactics commander. "The joint terminal control attack operations being conducted during this training were highly advanced and extremely beneficial to the RoK and U.S. alliance."

During the exercise, U.S. and RoK forces practiced specialized techniques, tactics and procedures associated with radioing in targets, striking adversaries with various munitions, targeting enemy threat capabilities, teaching allied aircraft capabilities and practicing horizontal and vertical aircraft deconfliction measures.

Source (including 8 photos)

Please note: That's not really a "Warthog news". But I decided to post this news article on my blog because A-10Cs from the 25th Fighter Squadron were also involved in related air strikes. And: The posted picture of Pilsung Range (may be very rare) should be also very interesting for "Hog" enthusiasts. Unfortunately, there are no related A-10C photos available. BTW: I'm a big fan of U.S. Special Forces aviation units since the Vietnam War (including the legendary Douglas A-1 Skyraider in USAF service - predecessor of the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II ("Warthog").

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