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Discussion to reinforce military exchange and defense cooperation

Discussion to reinforce military exchange and defe

Air Force Chief of Staff Lee, Wang-keun returned home on January 17th after an eight day, seven night trip that was focused on overseas diplomacy activities targeting countries where Korean aircraft are exported and employed.

Chief Lee discussed the need for mutual military exchange and enhanced defense cooperation with high-ranking officials from forces in each country, and checked on the local management status of Korean aircraft such as the KT-1·T-50, during his official visit to Turkey and Indonesia from the 10th to the 17th of January.

Chief Lee arrived at Turkey first, where he met with General Hulusi Akar, the chief of the Turkish General Staff, and General Hasan Kucukakyuz, the top Air Force commander. He collected opinions on the Republic of Korean-made KT-1 basic trainer jets exported to Turkey beginning in 2010, and passed on the Republic of Korean Air Force's knowhow. He also discussed its request for Turkish pilots to receive Republic of Korea's air force flight training.

Chief Lee flew to Indonesia next, which has been employing Republic of Korean-made aircraft since 2001. He had talks with his counterpart Air Force General Hadi Tjahjanto and other leading officials to check on the results of KT-1·T-50 operations and discussed the KFX and IFX advanced fighter jet development program which is being jointly promoted by both countries.

Chief Lee also visited the second aircraft wing in Izmir, Turkey and the Adisucipto air force base in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in which KT-1 is employed, and offered words of encouragement to local pilots.

As well, Chief Lee visited Korea Park in Ankara, Turkey, in which 765 unknown Turkish soldiers joined the Korean War are entombed. He paid his respects to their supreme sacrifice by leaving a message in the visitors' book that read, “I pray for the repose of Turkish soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice for freedom and peace on the Republic of Korea.”

By Sang-Yun, Kim < >

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