VMFA-115, VMFA(AW)-533 soar to Kunsan Air Base
KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea -- Service members with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 and Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533, currently part of the Unit Deployment Program with Marine Aircraft Group 12, aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, arrived at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 13, 2014, in support of Exercise Max Thunder 14-2.
As part of MT14-2, VMFA-115 and VMFA(AW)-533, stationed out of Beaufort, S.C., are providing F/A-18 hornets to support U.S. and ROK forces throughout the exercise.
Max Thunder is a semi-annual exercise, consisting of composite and coalition flight training between the U.S. military and the ROK 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.
“We are here to provide support to our Air Force counterparts,” said Lt. Col. Lance Patrick, commanding officer of VMFA-115. “Whether it’s our Marines on the ground fuelling up and maintaining the aircraft, or the men in the sky, we are here to support.”
Patrick added that with approximately 20 total Marine aircraft, he has full faith that the Marines will leave a great imprint during the exercise.
“We have quite a few Marines out here,” said Lt. Col. Al Bryant, the commanding officer of VMFA(AW)-533. “Both Lt. Col. Patrick and I have high expectations for our Marines; after all, we have a title to uphold.”
Bryant said himself and Patrick are focused on increasing the proficiency of their squadron while participating in the exercise, all while teaching their Marines to appreciate working with other services.
They also expressed their optimism coming in to the exercise, saying they look forward to working with each other and ensured the Marines of both squadrons will leave a lasting impression in the region.