January 22, 2010:
U.S. Air Force units in South Korea (the 7th Air Force) held their semiannual training exercise recently. This four days of frantic activity reminded personnel of what they would encounter if North Korea decided to come south again. The air force takes seriously the North Korean threat. During the semiannual training exercises, airmen practice dealing with chemical attacks, and defending their bases from North Korean commandoes. The Winter exercises are particularly grueling for the maintenance personnel, who practice servicing aircraft outdoors. This is particularly necessary for aircraft landing to be rearmed and refueled for another sortie. These exercises also stress the need to service aircraft quickly so that the maximum number of sorties can be generated. The 7th Air Force would be quickly reinforced by over a hundred aircraft in wartime, and the troops already there have to train to deal with that as well. While the grueling nature of war in Korea is stressed year round, during these exercises everyone tries to create a sense of reality for chaos and pressure that would be present if things got hot.