Osan Air Base hosted 65,000 visitors to reinforce the enduring partnership between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea during an Air Power Day celebration held Oct. 20 and 21. More than 22 Pacific Air Forces aircraft were on display while the ROK’s premiere demonstration team, the Black Eagles, took to the skies to demonstrate their combat flying capabilities in eight T-50 training aircraft.
“This is a great opportunity for us to share what we do with our community, neighbors and friends,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Patrick McKenzie, 51st Fighter Wing commander, during opening ceremonies. “We have an incredible line-up. The Black Eagles are a fantastic demonstration team.”
The show featured aerial demonstrations from A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, F-16 Fighting Falcons, a C-17 Globemaster, a ROKAF F-15K Eagle, a T-50 Golden Eagle, a U2 Dragonlady, and a KC-135 Stratotanker.
Visitors were also shown a military working dog demonstration, dancing and music from the Korean-American Partnership Association and a Combat Search and Rescue team mission later in the day. On the ground, spectators could see an up-close view of a first-time visitor, the F-22 Raptor, and other aircraft like the MV-Osprey and the CH-47 Chinook.
“Putting all of this together started back in May,” said Capt. Callous Quinby, 51st Operations Support Squadron wing training chief who was in charge of bringing the aircraft to the peninsula. “People had a chance to come out and see things they normally wouldn’t, and they can see how well we work with the ROK Air Force.”
The Black Eagles, an apparent fan favorite, brought cheers from the crowd. “I liked when the planes flew right over us,” said Sun Pak, referring to the Black Eagles demonstration of T-50 Golden Eagles supersonic trainer jets.
Despite the busy schedule of events and numerous food booths lining the flight line, the air show’s focus on the partnership between the U.S. and ROK prevailed.
“Our relationship with the Republic of Korea Air Force is amazing,” said Chief Master Sgt. Brendan Criswell, 51st FW Command Chief. “This is air power at its finest.”
By Staff Sgt. Stefanie Torres, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs; photo by Staff Sgt. Craig Cisek