March 16, 2009 (by SrA Gustavo Gonazelez) - A team of AC-130 instructors from Hurlburt Field, Fla. Returned to Kunsan recently. This time around they not only provided training to 8th Security Forces Squadron Airmen, but also expanded their training to include Republic of Korea Air Force and Army personnel.
The training, which ran from March 10 to 14, was intended to demonstrate the AC-130's capabilities and also teach the participants how to talk to the aircrews.
"If something were to happen we'd actually be working with them [ROKAF and ROKA] hand in hand," said Staff Sgt. Jesse Long, 8th Security Forces Squadron. "So it's good to have them here so they know the training and they know what to do."
The partnership and training between the Wolf Pack, ROCKAF, and the ROK Army is very important according to Sergeant Long, especially during a real world scenario.
"We are able to fire directly with the AC-130 gunships instead of always relying on our F-16s here just in case we need more firepower," said Sergeant Long. "If I get shot then they [ROK personnel] still need to call in, so that's why we get them trained also."
Michael Raymond, an instructor for the 19th Special Operations Squadron out of Hurlburt Field, said providing gunship training to the ROKAF and ROKA along side the 8th SFS is important here.
"The Korean forces in general really love the gunship and they know that they are integral to the defense of the peninsula in case of increased hostilities," he said. "By working not only with the security forces but with the Korean forces, it just fosters that team spirit to defend the base."
According to ROKA Capt. Yongtae Lee, 35th Special Forces, the training gave Korean Forces better knowledge and understanding of support fire.
"We are going to have more options to learn about how to communicate with the air craft and support fire I think is the best part." he said.
Although the Korean Forces were hard at work Captain Lee also had fun working with the United States Air Force.
"I think this is a great chance to have a relationship between the 8th Fighter Wing and the Korean Army so that hopefully there are more events like this so we can get to learn more," he said. "It was really fun and exciting."