OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --
Team Osan welcomed the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing during their deployment as the 157th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron in support of the U.S. Pacific Command Theater Security Package.
TSPs on the Korean Peninsula have been vital to the Pacific Air Forces force posture since March 2004, and the deployment of the 157th EFS is no exception. They arrived with over 300 Airmen and 12 F-16 Fighting Falcons, ready to demonstrate the commitment to always be ready to “fight tonight.”
“The deployment of the 157th EFS provides unique opportunities to integrate various forces into joint, coalition and bilateral training across diverse environments,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas Johnson, Pacific Air Forces Command Operations, Plans and Requirements chief of fighter operations.
The Air Force routinely deploys TSPs throughout the Korean peninsula in support of the defense of the Republic of Korea.
“Enhancing U.S. and Korean interoperability assures shared international responsibilities to provide assistance during regional crises and allows us to build cooperation and bolster regional security interests and goals,” Johnson said. “The 157th EFS demonstrates the U.S. military’s contribution to the Indo-Asia-Pacific rebalance by maintaining training and operational readiness.”
In order to keep their F-16s flying, maintainers continually repair, inspect and improve their aircraft in their deployed environment.
“We’re providing fully combat-capable F-16s to the fight every day, and we’re prepared to ‘fight tonight’ if needed,” said Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Shelley, 157th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit superintendent.
Even though the 157th EFS has continually been proactive in their readiness response, there is still work to be done in the upcoming weeks.
“This deployment underscores U.S. commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific rebalance in an unpredictable and uncertain region and sends a clear message to the international community that the U.S. is serious about security and stability in the region,” Johnson said.