Where Wolves and Vampires Play

More than one dozen South Korea-based Air Force F-16 fighters and some 150 airmen flew to Japan for two weeks of air-to-air combat drills, tangling with F-15s at Kadena Air Base, announced Kadena officials June 13. “This dissimilar air-to-air combat training is vital to preserving the Pacific Air Forces’ ability to gain and maintain air superiority,” said Lt. Col. Douglas Thies, commander of the F-16 contingent from Kunsan AB, South Korea, that arrived at Kadena on June 8. “The chance to engage with the F-15 Eagles provides a unique opportunity for me to test my abilities against a different aircraft and learn how it operates,” added Capt. Keegan Dale, an F-16 pilot. Directing the F-15s of Kadena’s 44th Fighter Squadron against the visiting Falcons also gives Kadena’s AWACs aircrews realistic practice in controlling aerial engagements, and its tanker crews practice in refueling a broad range of aircraft types. (Kadena report by SSgt. Laszlo Babocsi)