On 20th December, F-22 Raptor 5th generation fighters of the United States Air Force arrived to Kunsan air base, Republic of Korea, where they will participate in exercise Iron Shadow.
The Raptors are assigned to the 525th Fighter Squadron, being usually based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. However, in response to increasing tensions in the Pacific area, the fighters were recently deployed to Kadena Air Force Base in Japan.
Iron Shadow is the combined binational training event to be held in Korean airspace and intended to strengthen the flying capabilities of the USAF and the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) by practicing air-to-air combat scenarios with various teams, as well as enhancing overall combat readiness in multi-generation sorties. The F-22 Raptors will train alongside the 4th generation fighters, F-16 Fighting Falcons of the USAF 8th Fighter Wing and the ROKAF 38th Fighter Group.
Organized by the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), the training creates a unique opportunity to the F-16 pilots assigned to the 8th Operations Group to battle against near-peer adversaries and provide a simulated opposing force for the ROKAF.
According to the USAF official press release, the Iron Shadow exercise is also intended to showcase the US-South Korean combined forces’ ability to deter, deny and dominate any influence or aggression from adversaries or competitors.
Cover photo: An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 525th Fighter Squadron out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, taxis during bilateral training event IRON SHADOW at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Dec. 20, 2022 (USAF photo by Staff Sgt. Isaiah J. Soliz). All photos © U.S. Department of Defence (DoD). DoD information materials were used, in compliance with Public Domain licence. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.