1st Lt. Joseph Curran, 25th Fighter Squadron A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot, explains the capabilities of the 30mm Gatling gun to the National Assembly Defense Committee during a visit to Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Oct. 15, 2012. The assembly members toured static displays of U.S. A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, the U2 Dragon Lady and ROK E-737 Peace Eye, K F-16 Falcon, and F-15K Strike Fighter. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Craig Cisek)
Republic of Korea National Assembly Members tour an F-15K during an annual ROK National Defense Committee inspection Oct. 15, 2012. The National Assembly’s Defense Committee provides legislative oversight of Korea’s military and annual budget. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Craig Cisek)
Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, 7th Air Force commander, Republic of Korea National Assembly Members and ROK Airmen pose for a group photo in front of a ROK E-737 Peace Eye at Osan Air Base, Oct. 15, 2012. The Peace Eye was on display to demonstrate the capabilities of the combined US- ROK Korea airpower team. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Craig Cisek)
by Airman 1st Class Alexis Siekert
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
10/17/2012 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Members from the Republic of Korea National Assembly saw firsthand how U.S. and ROK forces work together during an annual ROK National Defense Committee inspection Oct. 15, 2012.
The ROK-led inspection focused on Korean airpower capabilities, combined facilities, and ROK and U.S. aircraft to obtain a greater understanding of the elements involved in the nation's defense, explained Maj. Alec Menoni, 51st Operations Group assistant deputy commander and special projects coordinator.
"We came to Osan Air Base to see how the U.S. Air Force and ROKAF are collaborating to keep our nation and our space safe," said ROK National Assembly Chairman Seung Min Yoo. "Here there are so many essential facilities to protect from North Korea or any other country. We are very confident that the U.S. and Korea Alliance is very important in protecting our nation."
Unlike in the U.S., where Congress is broken down into the Senate and the House of Representatives, the ROK has one combined Congress. The National Assembly's Defense Committee provides legislative oversight of Korea's military and their annual budget.
Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, 7th Air Force commander, completed a historic milestone the same day as he became the first U.S. Air Force general officer to fly aboard the ROKAF's newest aircraft, the E-737 Peace Eye.
"The E-737 Peace Eye brings a great new capability to our Alliance and as Air Component Commander, I was privileged to fly on it today," he said. "This was my first flight on the Peace Eye and I was not fully aware of all its capabilities, but now that I've seen it first hand along with the professionalism of the ROKAF officers and Enlisted crew, I am truly impressed with what it can do."
The assemblymen toured static displays of the U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, U-2 and ROK KF-16 Falcon and F-15K Slam Eagle, very similar to U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-15 Eagles. However, the aircraft on display were only one part of the inspection. The assemblymen also learned about the combined war-fighting capabilities of the ROKAF and U.S. at the Korean Air Operations Center.
"We are honored to have the ROK National Assembly members here at Osan Air Base today and I hope that what they take away is the strength of the Alliance between the U.S. Air Force and the ROKAF," Jouas said. "Together we make a great Airpower Team. Every day our Airmen are working hard to deter, defend and, if necessary, defeat any advisories we may face, and I am certainly proud to be their commander."