F-22s Deploy to South Korea for Exercises

The Defense Department has dispatched F-22s to South Korea for joint exercises, reported the Wall Street Journal on March 31. The jets arrived on Sunday at Osan Air Base, according to the newspaper. The deployment comes at a time when the United States has been demonstrating advanced military capabilities in exercises with the South Koreans to dissuade North Korean aggression. Last week two B-2s flying roundtrip from Missouri struck targets on a South Korean training range with inert bombs as part of these exercises. Prior to that, B-52s flying from Guam, flew mock bombing sorties over South Korea. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and his minions have been engaged in bellicose rhetoric, calling the Korean War armistice null and void and threatening to attack South Korea, US bases in the Asia-Pacific, and the US homeland. North Korea also recently conducted a nuclear test and late last year launched a long-range ballistic missile. The Air Force periodically stations F-22s at Kadena AB, Japan, or on Guam as part of normal rotations of combat forces to the Asia-Pacific region. Back in January, F-22s from JB Langley-Eustis, Va., deployed to Kadena on what service officials said would be a four-month rotation. (See also CNN report.)