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U.S. Gunship AC-130J Fires Up in South Korea: Joint Air Exercises Heat Up

Daniel Kim Views  

U.S. Air Force

The Air Force announced on the 20th that the U.S. AC-130J special operations aircraft conducted Close Air Support (CAS) training with South Korean Air Force F-15K, KF-16, FA-50 fighter jets, and KA-1 air control attack aircraft for four days starting from the 17th.

According to the Air Force, the AC-130J and South Korean Air Force KF-16 fighter jets conducted live-fire exercises together on that day, checking their readiness and capabilities to respond to any provocations.

They continued, “In the future, the United States and South Korea will continue to conduct regular training and various joint aerial exercises, demonstrating the strong alliance’s capability to achieve any operational objectives.”

The U.S. military also publicly disclosed the live-fire training of the AC-130J at the Pilseung Training Grounds in Taebaek, Gangwon Province, South Korea, for the first time to the media on the 18th. This day coincided with the confirmation of Russian President Putin’s visit to North Korea, and this exercise is seen as a warning message to North Korea.

The AC-130J is the latest armed gunship aircraft of the U.S. Air Force. It is equipped with a 30mm gun and a 105mm howitzer (M102). In addition, it can deploy precision-guided weapons such as the GBU-39 guided bomb and the AGM-114 Hellfire missile.

The AC-130J is considered one of the U.S. Air Force’s capabilities that could be deployed in the event of contingencies on the Korean Peninsula, supporting the ground operations of special forces and similar roles.

This aircraft was first deployed on the Korean Peninsula in March 2023 and participated in the joint U.S.-South Korea special operations exercise, Teak Knife. After over a year, it arrived at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do, on the 12th. The unofficial motto of the U.S. Air Force units operating the AC-130 is “You can run, but you will only die tired.”

The U.S. Air Force’s ground support attack aircraft AC-130J is designed with armaments such as a 30mm cannon and a 105mm howitzer to conduct ground attacks from the air, embodying the concept of dispersing munitions from above like rain, earning its classification as a unique gunship. It is commonly referred to as the Angel of Death.

Joint Chiefs of Staff
Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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