Video by Tech. Sgt. Joshua Rosales
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II takes off from Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea during VIGILANT ACE 18. – DVIDS


The exercise tests the readiness of 35th Fighter Wing Airmen to rapidly respond within the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and enhance interoperability with allies and sister services across the Korean Peninsula, while sustaining operations away from home station.

“Overall, this exercise will help identify shortfalls our fighter squadron would endure if we had to relocate to [South Korea] during a real-world scenario,” said 1st Lt. Michael Mayclin, 13th Fighter Squadron F-16 pilot. “We want to safely execute our ‘Wild Weasel’ mission set during our time here, while further learning about our role within the Pacific.”

During the relocation, both pilots and maintainers focused on a seamless operational transition from Misawa AB to Osan AB.

“Our number one priority ensures bed-down procedures, or getting equipment and personnel in the right location, are completed and will sufficiently support the mission for immediate operational use,” said Capt. Gabriel Byrd, 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge. “It is important to find and correct errors during a simulated exercise versus a real-world wartime contingency.” – US Air Force

Featured image of U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 Lightning II aircraft participating in a training mission near Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Dec. 1, 2017, in preparation for VIGILANT ACE 18. 

F-35 Lightning II Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea VIGILANT ACE 18.