US B-1B bombers to fly over peninsula, Yonhap reports

US B-1B bombers to fly over peninsula, Yonhap reports

According to South Korean media reports, other assets include USAF B-1B Lancer bombers, six EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft, and dozens of F-15C and F-16 fighter jets. Dubbed Vigilant Ace, the bellicose exercises will last until next Friday, according to Reuters.

A dozen F-35s are now deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan, as part of the first-ever F-35A theater security package, or TSP, which are forward-deployed aircraft units that conduct missions to reassure partner and ally forces and to maintain security and stability across a region. More than 12,000 United States personnel are involved in the drills.

This year's Vigilant Ace is being conducted on the largest scale to date, involving over 230 aircrafts including a number of F-22 stealth fighter jets.

South Korean government officials, including President Moon Jae-in, have said the North's latest ICBM is their most capable yet, although it has several critical points to prove, such as re-entry technology and terminal stage guidance.

He also said the exercise comes at a risky time on the Korean Peninsula, "The threat here on the peninsula is very real, and countering that threat needs to be in the forefront of our minds".

North Korea drills
US AIR FORCE DRILLS A fighter jet taking off for the drills today on the Korean Peninsula

Fighter jets taxiing at Kunsan Air Base on December 3.

The U.S. Seventh Air Force has said the exercise is not in response to any incident or provocation. The Chinese Air Force said it will conduct high-sea exercises under combat conditions on a regular basis, as it aims to improve readiness and safeguard the country's "strategic interests".

An F-22 Raptor participating in the massive US and South Korean air force drills taking place from December 4 through 8 experienced a technical malfunction after landing and had to be towed off its runway to the hangar, Stars and Stripes reported Monday. The 36th is one of many squadrons taking part in Vigilant Ace. South Korea has deployed 90 fighter jets, including its F-15 and FA-50 fighters.

F-22s were last in the Pacific in February for joint training with Australian counterparts at Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal. The jet is an electronic warfare aircraft used to jam enemy radar and otherwise degrade or deceive enemy efforts to sense US aircraft. Thank you very much!

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