U.S. Forces Korea(USFK) was found to have conducted a joint military drill with a third country outside the Korean Peninsula last month.
According to the military on Monday, USFK took part in the annual “Command Sling” field training exercise with Singapore's Air Forces at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore between November 6 and 24.
The 51st Fighter Wing based in Osan Air Base deployed six F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 36th Fighter Squadron as well as 90 maintainers assigned to the 36th Fighter Generation Squadron to the drill.
The military said the exercise saw a wide range of exercises aimed at increasing interoperability, including extending aerial warfare hours through aerial refueling.
Commando Sling, which kicked off in 1990, aims to improve the combined operations capability of the two countries’ air force and check the support capacity of U.S. forces stationed in Singapore.
It is unusual for U.S. forces stationed in South Korea to take part in a combined military drill in a third country.
Some observers say the latest drill was likely conducted to boost the USFK’s strategic flexibility in a bid to complete missions outside of the region, including missions on keeping China in check.