OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFNS)
Four U.S. F-22 Raptors conducted a combined formation flight alongside South Korean F-15K Slam Eagles and U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons here to demonstrate the capabilities of both nations Feb. 17, in response to recent provocative actions by North Korea.
“The F-22 Raptor is the most capable air superiority fighter in the world, and it represents one of many capabilities available for the defense of this great nation. The U.S. maintains an ironclad commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea,” Lt. Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, the United Nations Command Korea and U.S. Forces Korea deputy commander and U.S. 7th Air Force commander, told reporters.
Lt. Gen. Lee Wang-keon, the South Korea Air Force Operations Command commander, spoke about the strength of the alliance’s air combat capabilities during his brief remarks.
“The ROK and U.S. combined air forces remain ready to deter North Korean threats, and are postured to defeat them with the strength of our combined air combat capability,” Lee said.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Nicholas Evans, the 36th Fighter Squadron commander, flew alongside the formation, showcasing Osan Air Base’s readiness mission.
“The combined nature of this flyover highlighted the high level of integration and interoperability between our two air forces, developed through decades of combined training,” Evans said.
“Furthermore, the inclusion of F-22s, and a B-52 in January, demonstrated the firm resolve of all (U.S.) forces as we stand united with our counterparts from the ROK air force,” he added.
The mission demonstrated the strength of the alliance between the U.S. and South Korea and the resolve of both nations to maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula.