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Air Force to conduct aerial refueling drills with U.S.

All Headlines 08:48 July 11, 2011

SEOUL, July 11 (Yonhap) -- The Air Force will carry out aerial refueling drills with the U.S. on a regular basis starting later this year, a military official said Monday.

"The F-15K and KF-16, our two main Air Force fighters, are capable of refueling in midair, but have never completed air-to-air refueling in our skies," the official said. "We will conduct the refueling exercise with a U.S. tanker every six months."

The official said a KC-135 Stratotanker, a U.S. Air Force jet stationed in Okinawa, Japan, will be dispatched for the first drill sometime in August or September.

"Through these drills, we will have about 10 pilots get their air refueling certificates," the official said. "They will undergo air refueling drills every six months to retain their certificates."

Aerial refueling helps the receiving jet remain airborne longer and extend its range.

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