GWANGJU AIR BASE, Republic Of Korea --
As Exercise Max Thunder 14-1 rages on, Col. Hunter H. Hobson, the commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 12, visited Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 aboard Gwangju Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 22, 2014.
As part of MT 14-1, VMFA-122, stationed out of Beaufort, S.C., is providing eight F/A-18 hornet aircraft to support both U.S. and ROK forces 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 purpose of Hobson’s visit was to oversee VMFA-122’s training during the exercise.
“VMFA-122 is one of my squadrons while they are under the (unit deployment program) in Iwakuni,” said Hobson. “As such, I am responsible for them, and I came out here to witness the capabilities they possess as war fighters.”
Hobson said, from what he has seen, VMFA-122 is one of the most outstanding squadrons he has worked with.
As part of his visit, Hobson took to the sky with VMFA-122 pilots to participate in aerial training.
During the aerial training, Marine, Navy and Air Force aircraft joined forces with the ROK Air Force to simulate enemy tactics and countermeasures used to combat aggressors.
While airborne, all participating aircraft are placed into two team’s; blue and red air. Blue air represents the defenders while red air takes the role of attackers.
“It’s a sight to see,” said Lt. Col. Douglas DeWolfe, commanding officer of VMFA-122. “Having all these jets in the same airspace, and having a mix of Marine, Navy, Air Force and ROK fighters distributed between teams, bumps up the challenge in the training.”
As part of the training, pilots are given a variety of objectives to complete from blocking entrance to specified locations, to reaching bombing locations and preforming air-to-ground combat.
Hobson said he felt honored to be able to fly with VMFA-122 and looks forward to seeing their accomplishments from MT 14-1.