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Buddy Wing Program improves communication at Kunsan

by Staff Sgt. Alice Moore
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

6/27/2007 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFPN) -- Airmen of both the 35th Fighter Squadron from Kunsan Air Base and the South Korean 155th Fighter Squadron from Junwon AB are teaming up for a Buddy Wing Program exercise June 27 to 29 here. 

The purpose of the Buddy Wing Program is to exchange ideas, introduce tactics and improve interoperability between airmen from the U.S. and South Korea. 

"It improves the coalition's capability of comparing ideas and tactics with the (Republic of Korea air force)," said Capt. David Still, a 35th FS pilot. "The program is also important because it increases the opportunity for cross flow of information and techniques." 

The combined training is important because it puts the pilots on the same page, Captain Still said. 

"This program gives us the chance to combine tactics and learn from each other's experiences," said South Korean Maj. Heon Jae Maeng, a 155th FS pilot. "This gives us a good chance to form a good relationship." 

The Buddy Wing Program also incorporates more than just the actual training mission in the air, Captain Still said. 

"It involves units actually deploying to another base to show we can work on the ground together too," he said. "By doing this, it improves (our) relationship at not only the fighter squadron level, but also the aircraft maintenance unit level." 

During the three-day training, members of the fighter squadrons will participate in tactics discussions and fly sorties. 

"It's imperative we continue to train with our ROKAF partners," said Col. CQ Brown, the 8th Fighter Wing commander. "These joint training opportunities let us integrate our capabilities and better prepare us to execute our mission." 

The Buddy Wing Program is held once a quarter for the F-16 Fighting Falcon squadrons. It was designed to rotate every quarter between U.S. and South Korean bases. 

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