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Buddy Squadron is back for 51st FW, ROKAF

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Skyler Combs
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The Buddy Squadron program, formerly known as Buddy Wing, has a rich history that ties both U.S. and Republic of Korea Air Forces together. The tradition dates back 20 years and is used as an opportunity to build trust, introduce new tactics and exchange ideas for pilots, maintenance technicians and support personnel from both bilateral partners.

The most recent iteration, BS 22-5, brought together A-10C Thunderbolt IIs from the 25th Fighter Squadron and ROKAF KA-1 Woongbi from the 237th FS, Wonju Air Base, to practice close air support and forward air controller mission sets during the week-long training event.

“This is the first time in 3 years that we have had the opportunity to exercise Buddy Squadron operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Capt. James Pettet, 25th FS pilot and flight commander. “Our goal now is to continue these training events throughout the peninsula as this is a great chance for both countries to learn from each other.”

According to Pettet, Osan will host future Buddy Squadron iterations, further improving interoperability between the USAF and ROKAF and continuing the tradition.

“The 25th FS cannot express enough gratitude to the 237th FS for their hospitality and professionalism during this exercise,” said Pettet. “We look forward to hosting the next Buddy Squadron and would like to say thank you to everyone involved.”