SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea sent more than 100 Air Force officers and six fighter jets to Alaska for an annual U.S.-led multinational air exercise set to kick off next week, officials said Thursday.
The officers, as well as six F-15K aircraft, left for the Eielson Air Force Base on Wednesday to take part in the Red Flag-Alaska 21-2 exercise to be held there from June 10-25.
It is the first time for South Korea to join the exercise in three years, the officials said, adding they will join more than 1,000 service members and dozens of aircraft from multiple countries, including Japan.
It will also be the first major combined military drill among the South Korean, the U.S. and the Japanese forces under the Joe Biden administration. Washington has called for the improvement of security ties between Seoul and Tokyo to better deal with North Korea and China.
The exercise is expected to enable them to exchange "tactics, techniques and procedures while improving interoperability with fellow airmen," the U.S. Seventh Air Force said earlier.
The Korean team is scheduled to return home on June 30.
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.
Yoon's outreach to Southeast Asia keeps China in the loop
Allies' defense chiefs highlight watertight alliance based on full extended deterrence against N. Korean threats
(News Focus) Police under fire for lax response to emergency calls hours before Itaewon crush
Police under fire for lax response to emergency calls hours before Itaewon crush
Role of administrative authorities questioned in Itaewon disaster