Raptor to Make Korea Debut

Four F-22 fighters will participate in Invincible Spirit, a combined, large-scale US-South Korean air and maritime readiness exercise starting later this month, according to US defense officials. Although Raptors have routinely deployed to Okinawa, Japan, and Guam over the past several years, Invincible Spirit will mark their debut in the Korean theater, they said. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young announced Invincible Spirit Tuesday in Seoul. It is one in a series of military exercises planned in the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan to demonstrate the allies’ resolve in the wake of North Korea’s unprovoked sinking of a South Korean frigate in March that killed 46 sailors. More than 100 US and South Korean aircraft will participate in Invincible Spirit. (AFPS report by Jim Garamone) (US defense officials’ briefing transcript.)