GWANGJU AIR BASE, Republic Of Korea -- Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122, participating in the Unit Deployment Program aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, arrived aboard Gwangju Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 11, 2014, to support Exercise Max Thunder 14-1.
As part of MT14-1, VMFA-122, stationed out of Beaufort, S.C., is providing eight F/A-18 hornet aircraft to support both U.S. and ROK forces in different scenarios throughout the exercise.
Max Thunder is a semi-annual training event consisting of composite and coalition flight training between the U.S. military and the Republic of Korea Air Force.
The training focuses on planning and execution of aerial interdiction and defensive counter air operations, and incorporates training on air combat tactics, close air support, and combat search and rescue.
“It’s not just a change of scenery,” said Lt. Col. Douglas DeWolfe, commanding officer of VMFA-122. “It’s an opportunity to put our skills to the test on a larger scale. Fortunately for VFMA-122, we have elements from Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, and Marine Aircraft Group 12 to assist in our training.”
“Max Thunder is the premiere air exercise that takes place in South Korea,” said Air Force Col. Sean DeWitt, the 51st Fighter Wing vice commander and acting U.S. deployed forces commander for Exercise MT14-1. “This exercise contributes to strengthening our relationship with the ROK and providing stability to the peninsula.”
DeWitt said in the short time the Marines have been in Gwangju, they have been very supportive of the exercise and he has been very impressed with their professionalism and looks forward to working with VMFA-122 during the exercise.