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​F-15K Slam Eagles from the 11th Fighter Wing, Daegu AB, Republic of Korea, fly in a “four-ship” formation during Max Thunder 16-1 at Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea, April 25, 2016. US Air Force photo by SrA. Ashley Gardner.

​Pacific Air Forces on Monday kicked off its second largest exercise, with USAF combat aircraft leading the event and US Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Republic of Korea personnel participating. Exercise Max Thunder, hosted by the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan AB, South Korea, includes locations across South Korea and Japan, and will run through April 28. The exercise is focused on “increasing the combat readiness of US and ROK air forces,” according to a Pacific Air Forces release. It comes at a time of heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, as North Korea continues its series of nuclear tests. Vice President Mike Pence, during a Monday visit to Osan AB, South Korea, tried to reassure South Korea of its resolve to “preserve their freedom and ensure the objective of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.”