Ready for Vigilant Ace

One of the largest flying exercises on the Korean peninsula opens Nov. 30 as the US and the Republic of Korea launch Vigilant Ace 17-1. More than 16,000 personnel will take part in the annual exercise, which involves more than 200 US Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy aircraft from eight US and ROK installations, according to a Pacific Air Forces spokesman. About 600 of the US participants will deploy to South Korea for the exercise, which ends Dec. 5. The US aircraft involved include the F-16 Fighting Falcon, A-10 Thunderbolt II, EA-18G Growler, F/A-18D Hornet, C-130 Hercules, KC-135 Stratotanker, and E-3B Airborne Warning and Control System. These aircraft will train alongside Republic of Korea Air Force F-15K Slam Eagles, KF-16 Fighting Falcons, FA-50, KA-1s, F-5Es, and F-4Es. “Vigilant Ace is part of a continuous exercise program designed to enhance the readiness of US and ROK forces,” the PACAF spokesman said. “Vigilant Ace 17 highlights the longstanding military partnership, commitment, and enduring friendship between the two nations, helps to ensure peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, and reaffirms the US commitment to stability in Northeast Asia.” (See also: Keeping Peace in Korea from the November issue of Air Force Magazine.)