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S. Korea, U.S. team up for joint Air Force exercise

All News 15:41 January 28, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- Fighter pilots from South Korea and the United States have been conducting a four-day joint air drill aimed at better countering North Korea's provocations, South Korean Air Force said Thursday.

The "Buddy Wing 16-1" training exercises, which kicked off on Tuesday, will run through Friday at an air base in Seosan, about 280 kilometers south of Seoul, according to South Korean Air Force.

The joint air drill involves four F-16CM fighter planes from the 51st Fighter Wing of the U.S. Air Force and 14 South Korean KF-16 fighter aircraft from the 20th Fighter Wing, it added.

"The Buddy Wing program plays an important role in maintaining interoperability between our two air forces, which in turn helps maintain our alliance and ultimately the long-term stability on the Korean Peninsula," Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of the U.S. Forces Korea, said in a statement released by the U.S. Air Force.

About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea as a deterrent against North Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended in a truce, not in a peace treaty.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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