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8th FW commander, ROKAF fly in training mission

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

11/19/2007 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFPN) -- Airmen of the 8th Fighter Wing and the Republic of Korea Air Force's 38th Fighter Group flew in a combined training mission Nov. 14. 

The mission led by Col. CQ Brown 8th Fighter Wing commander, was designed to enable the different units to work together and share their experiences. This was also the first time Colonel Brown took to the skies to be a part of a ROKAF formation. 

"It's important that we train with our ROKAF counterparts here," Colonel Brown said. "Today's type of training exercise provided the perfect forum for us to come together to exchange ideas and learn from each other." 

The mission was a basic air-to-air training mission and participants believed the chance to fly with Colonel Brown was a great opportunity for others to learn from an experienced fighter pilot. 

"It was a great opportunity to see the way our U.S. counterparts executed the mission," said Capt. Yim Chang Soon, ROKAF 111th Fighter Squadron pilot, "It helped me to understand the combined forces mission better. I was especially impressed with Colonel Brown's quick judgment and the care he has for his Airmen." 

Opposing forces in this exercise were played by members of the wing's 35th Fighter Squadron here. Captain Yim said this provided an excellent training opportunity. 

"We've been able to improve our war capabilities through this training experience," he said. "Next time we plan on providing the opposing forces so we can improve each side's capabilities even more." 

Captain Christopher Jones, 80th Fighter Squadron pilot and exercise participant agreed the training is vital. 

"It's important to fly missions with the ROKAF because it will enhance our interoperability in this area of responsibility," he said. "If we ever had to defend the peninsula, it would be a combined operation between the U.S. and ROKAF, so it's important that we are able to work together effectively." 

As far as having senior leadership as a key participant, Captain Jones said it was good to have Colonel Brown's participation. 

"The Wolf flying with the ROKAF shows his ability to lead from the front, whether in the air or on the ground," Captain Jones said. "It was also an opportunity for him to work hands-on with our ROKAF counterparts at the tactical level." 

Colonel Brown said he welcomes the chance to train with the ROKAF. 

"I hope I'll have more opportunities to fly with the ROKAF," he said. "It was great having the hands-on experience. The more opportunities we have to train together, we'll be able to ensure that peace and stability is maintained throughout the region." 

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