The Colorado Air National Guard’s 140th Wing deployed a detachment of F-16s, pilots, maintenance, and support personnel as part of a theater security package to South Korea on Feb. 4. The airmen will support joint exercises between US forces based on the Korean Peninsula and the Republic of Korea Armed Forces. As part of the US Pacific Command TSP, the Air Guardsmen will gain valuable training alongside other USAF units and fortify relationships with US partners in the region, said Col. Floyd Dunstan, commander of the 140th Wing at Buckley AFB, Colo. The deployment comes as US and South Korea prepare for large annual joint military drills Exercise Foal Eagle and Key Resolve, typically held between late February and April. The deployment will help US forces “serve as a deterrent against potential threats to regional security” while enhancing joint, deployed F-16C operations. Though most of the 140th Wing will deploy for the TSP a “significant number” will remain in Colorado to support NORAD’s Aerospace Control Alert mission.
Rumored cuts to the F-35 from the fiscal 2025 defense budget—six from Air Force plans—would not be offset by recent Foreign Military Sales, and will disrupt ongoing Lot 19 negotiations, Pentagon and industry sources said.