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S. Korea to join U.S., Japan for Red Flag Alaska air drills next month

All News 15:58 May 18, 2021

SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will take part in an annual U.S.-led multinational air force exercise for the first time in three years next month, joining Japan and other countries in the maneuvers designed to improve interoperability, the Air Force said Tuesday.

The Air Force plans to send F-15K fighter jets, cargo planes and dozens of troops to the Red Flag-Alaska 21-2 exercise set to take place in Alaska from June 10-25 involving around 1,500 service members and 100 aircraft.

Earlier, the U.S. Seventh Air Force said that the Japanese self-defense air force will also participate in the exercise, which will enable the forces to exchange "tactics, techniques and procedures while improving interoperability with fellow airmen."

The upcoming event will be the first major combined military exercise among the three nations under the Joe Biden administration, which has called for the improvement of security ties between Seoul and Tokyo to better deal with North Korea and China.

The Korean Air Force last participated in the Red Flag program in 2018.

Launched in 1975, the Red Flag-Alaska drill is designed to integrate various forces and provide them with training opportunities in a realistic threat environment, according to the U.S. military.

This photo, downloaded from the U.S. 7th Air Force website, shows an F-35A Lightning II (L), assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, and an F-16 Fighting Falcon, assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, flying over Denali National Park in Alaska, on Aug. 17, 2020, during the Red Flag-Alaska 20-3 Training. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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