USAF, ROKAF pilots fly together

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 36th Fighter Squadron trained with four Republic of Korea air force pilots from the 161st Squadron during Buddy Wing 14-6 exercise here July 29--Aug. 1, 2014.

Buddy Wing is a small scale exercise that happens several times a year where U.S. Air Force pilots and maintenance crews work alongside ROKAF pilots and maintenance crews. Pilots and maintainers from Osan either travel to a ROKAF base or vice versa to train together.

During this exercise, the ROKAF pilots and 36 FS pilots flew training mission's together, as well as attended pre and post flight briefs.

Through this exchange, members from each air force shared battle tactics and procedures to become better acquainted with each other's operations to improve their strategy during a real world mission.

"By sharing our tactics, we are able to understand how they operate and what to expect when we are flying alongside them," said Capt. Caleb Cienski, 36th Fighter Squadron pilot. "This will allow us to better employ out jets with them during exercises and real world contingencies."

The Buddy Wing Program also builds relations between the aligned U.S. and ROK forces.

"We have operated with many ROKAF squadrons through Operational Readiness Exercises and Max Thunder Exercises," said Cienski. "However, through small scale interaction, we're able to build stronger bonds on a personal level that is much tougher to do while at a larger exercise."

The 36th FS looks forward to working with ROKAF pilots again.

"When we go to the next exercise with our friends from Jungwon, we will know them and hopefully be able to communicate, plan, and execute at a higher level because of the mutual trust and understanding," said Cienski.