SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The combined air forces of South Korea and the United States on Monday kicked off their biggest-ever joint air force exercise on the Korean Peninsula, mobilizing about 230 fighter jets, bombers and other combat planes, Yonhap news agency reported.
The South Korean air force was quoted as saying that the Vigilant ACE air combat exercise will be jointly conducted with the U.S. Seventh Air Force from Monday to Friday to enhance joint wartime operation capability.
It was the largest-ever air force drill between the two allies as it involved more than some 12,000 personnel.
The massive air combat drill came less than a week after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) launched Hwasong-15, which it called a newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), on Nov. 29.
It traveled some 1,000 km after being lofted as high as 4,600 km, according to South Korea's military. It said the DPRK missile is fired at a normal angle, and it could fly as long as 13,000 km, reaching Washington D.C. in the United States.
Joining the Vigilant ACE would be 24 U.S. stealth fighter jets, including six F-22 fighters from Okinawa, Japan, six F-35A combat planes and 12 F-35B stealth fighter jets from the U.S. air force base in Japan.
U.S. strategic B-1B Lancer bombers reportedly planned to stage a bombing exercise during the joint air force drill.
In addition, six EA-18G Growler electronic warfare jets and dozens of F-15C and F-16 fighters will be mobilized to the air combat drill.
From the South Korean side, F-15K, KF-16 and FA-50 fighter jets will participate in the drill.