US planes are constantly monitoring activity in North Korea
The U.S. Air Force is busy in the skies over the Korean Peninsula, a range of aircraft including F-16’s running around the clock missions and exercises. The increase in provocations from North Korea focusing minds more.There are several priorities in dealing with threats from North Korea. Besides its nukes and missiles. North Korea has dug in artillery that threatens the South Korean capitol. I suspect the US has bunker busters in place to attack the artillery positions as well as the tunnels where the nukes and missiles are sheltered.
“It keeps us on a heightened sense,” says US Air Force Col. James Brotree, “ There’s always something going on so we always have to make sure we do the right things.”
Many of these flights come from the Osan air base south of Seoul. And all those operations are run from an air operations center manned by U.S. and South Korean Air Force personel.
Osan is the base for updated U-2 spy planes that prowl the skies over the Korean peninsula. Most days two planes will go on missions lasting some 10 hours, as high as 14 miles up.
All weight has been stripped away to get the plane down to its basics so it can always be “locked in” via signals and image intelligence on the conventional and unconventional doings of the Pyongyang regime.
If trouble is spotted, other planes at the base, including F-16 jet fighters, could be called into action, as well as the A-10 “Warthog” or “Tank-killer” aircraft which has seen a lot of combat action in other hot spots.