SrA. Paul Roberts, 33rd Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief, pulls chalks from an HH-60G Pave Hawk assigned to the 33rd Rescue Squadron prior to a flight during Exercise Pacific Thunder 16-2 at Osan AB, South Korea, July 12, 2016.Air force photo by SSgt. Jonathan Steffen.
US Air Force and Republic of Korea forces are conducting Exercise Pacific Thunder, an annual combined training operation focused on improving the combat readiness of US and ROK air units to perform the demanding combat search and rescue missions. The two-week exercise is designed to train aircrews and commanders and to validate tactics, techniques, and procedures for CSAR and for the suppression of enemy air defenses, which often is necessary to successfully rescue downed airmen. Air Force units involved include A-10s and F-16s from the 51st Fighter Wing, F-16s from the 8th Fighter Wing, HH-60 Pave Hawks, E-3 AWACS, and an RC-135 from the 18th Wing and U-2s from 7th Air Force, operating alongside more than 200 personnel and 22 aircraft from the ROK Air Force. The exercise is controlled from Osan AB, South Korea, according to a base release.