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Aviation allies: Osan hosts Buddy Squadron 24-2

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kaitlin Frazier
  • 51 Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Pilots from the U.S. Air Force and Republic of Korea Air Force take to the sky, upholding a tradition of training together for over two decades during Buddy Squadron 24-2 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, March 2-6, 2024.

ROKAF pilots assigned to the 122nd Fighter Squadron trained alongside the 36th FS assigned to Osan AB and 35th FS assigned to Kunsan AB, ROK, during the week-long training event. The units worked together in mission planning, flying operations and debriefing in order to operate seamlessly as a joint force in the sky and on the ground.

“Buddy Squadron is a great tool to help with integration,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Christopher Brown, 36th FS F-16 pilot, “We’re able to practice now to integrate easier and more efficiently in the future.”

During this iteration of BS 24-2, personnel trained on aerial refueling techniques along with offensive counterair air interdiction and suppression of enemy air defense. Air interdiction are air operations conducted to divert, disrupt, delay, or destroy any potential adversaries. Suppression of enemy air defense refers to air operations used to neutralize or weaken the air defense of systems operated by adversaries.

Twenty aircraft were involved in the training event to include the F-15K Slam Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons and the A-10 Thunderbolt II.

The Buddy Squadron Program allows for bilateral integration, giving more opportunity to train together and ensure lethality and readiness of U.S. and ROKAF pilots. The joint training builds a foundation of trust, strengthening a more resilient alliance.

ROKAF air traffic control airmen also participated in BS 24-2, making it the first iteration of Buddy Squadron to include more personnel outside of air crew and maintenance members.

Other events during BS 24-2 included visits from the Joint Chief of Staff of the ROK Adm. Kim, Myung-Soo Kim and ROKAF Gen. Kang, Shin Chul, Combined Forces Command deputy commander.

“Buddy Squadron is a powerful weapon,” said Capt. Jukyung Lee, 122nd FS pilot, “We’re able to share knowledge and techniques that allows us to work together as a joint effort to protect South Korea.”