The theater-level “Soaring Eagle” combat training exercise is being staged over five days through Friday at the 29th Tactical Fighter Weapons Group located at an air base in the central city of Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.
South Korea’s air force has conducted the Soaring Eagle exercise twice a year since 2008 with the goal to maintain a firm defense posture in airspace and prepare combat-ready pilots for potential future contingency missions.
The aerial drill is staged in a simulated, high-threat combat environment, which puts fighter pilots and support personnel through scenarios such as a “large-scale, surprise invasion by enemy’s air forces,” the air force said Monday in a statement.
During the Soaring Eagle exercise, South Korea’s virtual friendly force “Blue Air” fights against the virtual enemy, “Red Air.”
The air force explained that pilots are able to “master combat skills to effectively respond to aerial threats posed by the enemy through experiencing the enemy’s tactics” in the simulated environment.
The air force stages various types of military drills, including defensive counter-air operations to detect, identify and intercept enemy air targets as well as large-scale, offensive counter-air operations led by an airstrike package to “punish and strike the core of enemy military forces and the origin of provocations.”
Exercise participants also practice battlefield air interdiction, which is an air operation conducted to destroy an enemy’s military potential such as missile bases and supplies en route to the battlefield, in a simulated combat environment.
“The goals of the exercise are to have the ability to quickly respond to enemy provocations and the best operational capabilities by verifying our ability to strike…