Largest Ever Pacific Thunder Search and Rescue Exercise Underway
US Air Force and South Korean air force personnel launched the largest Pacific Thunder search and rescue exercise ever on Monday. More than 20 USAF squadrons and nine South Korean wings are involved in Pacific Thunder 18-1, which is led by the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan AB, South Korea, and the 33rd and 31st Rescue Squadrons at Kadena AB, Japan. “Combat search and rescue is one of the most important mission sets we have in the A-10 community because we are really the only fixed wing asset in the Air Force who trains to the CSAR mission,” said Capt. Travis Vayda, exercise coordinator for the 25th FS, in a press release. “We are the close muscle, so essentially we are the bodyguards of the person on the ground and the helicopters that are rescuing them.” Pacific Thunder was first held in 2009 as a discrete exercise between the 25th FS and the 33rd RQS, but it has since grown into a Pacific Air Forces-level event.