News: Republic of Korea makes history by flying its first mission in Afghanistan
Story by Spc. Monica K. Smith
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Soldiers from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Falcon, had the opportunity to join their Republic of Korea counterparts in the ROK army’s first aviation mission in Afghanistan, July 8, out of Bagram Airfield.
Task Force Taegeuk, the ROK army’s aviation unit, preceded their history-making mission with a ceremony on the Bagram Airfield flight line.
“I am proud of all of our [provincial reconstruction team] soldiers and for our friends for taking the time to be here with us,” said ROK Lt. Col. Myong Ho Choi, commander of TF Taegeuk, from Seoul, South Korea. “I’m glad to start and I am sure we will be able to proceed and complete our missions successfully.”
Korean aviation began 40 years ago, and though their soldiers served in Vietnam, they did not use their own aircraft. Their deployment to Afghanistan marks the first time Korean aviators will fly their own aircraft outside of their country.
“It makes me really proud to be a member of TF Taegeuk,” said ROK Cpl. Yong Gee Hong, an air traffic controller for TF Taegeuk, from Seoul, South Korea. “I’m part of making history in Korea.”
The first mission for TF Taegeuk was a land orientation flight and included two Black Hawks led by a U.S. Black Hawk from Company A, TF Knighthawk, 3rd CAB, TF Falcon. Task Force Taegeuk will be deployed for six months and will support the 3rd CAB, TF Falcon, from their base in Bagram Airfield.