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South Korea KF-16 fighter jets conclude exercises in Alaska

By
Elizabeth Shim
South Korean KF-16 fighter jets concluded exercises with a multinational fighting force during Red Flag Alaska. File Photo by Jeon Heon-kyun
South Korean KF-16 fighter jets concluded exercises with a multinational fighting force during Red Flag Alaska. File Photo by Jeon Heon-kyun

June 27 (UPI) -- Six South Korean KF-16 fighter jets concluded joint training with a multinational fighting force during Red Flag Alaska, a 10-day air combat training exercise hosted by the United States Air Force.

Seoul's air force said Tuesday the fighter jets "flew in formation from Alaska to South Korea, a distance of over 4,700 miles, while receiving aerial refueling from the KC-135 Stratotanker 13 times."

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More than 100 South Korean air force personnel participated in the training exercises in Alaska, including pilots of six KF-16s and a C-130 cargo plane.

The South Korean military trained in live fire exercises that included the dropping of precision or laser-guided bombs GBU-10, GBU-12 and GBU-31, South Korean news service News 1 reported.

Kim Jong-hyuk, a South Korean air force lieutenant of the country's Joint Tactical Air Controllers, was the first South Korean member of the forces to take a leadership role in the exercises, according to the report.

In the event of an emergency on the Korean peninsula, an internationally recognized JTAC officer can direct the action of combat aircraft engaged in close air support.

South Korea is also upgrading its military helicopters, local newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported Tuesday.

Seoul's Defense Acquisition Program Administration stated Tuesday assembly work has begun on the light-armed helicopter LAH-1 at Korea Aerospace Industries.

South Korea is replacing the 500MD attack helicopter, which North Korea may have purchased on the international market, according to the report.

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