BUFF to land in South Korea for first time amid Seoul ADEX 23, the airshow that celebrates 70 years of US - Republic of Korea alliance

BUFF to land in South Korea for first time amid Seoul ADEX 23, the airshow that celebrates 70 years of US – Republic of Korea alliance

By Dario Leone
Oct 17 2023
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A B-52H Stratofortress (dubbed BUFF, Big Ugly Fat F****r by her aircrews) is slated to land on the Korean Peninsula for Seoul ADEX 23—the first time ever the famed bomber has touched down in South Korea.

The BUFF will land in South Korea for the first time.

The United States military will be represented at the 2023 Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition, or Seoul ADEX 23, Oct. 17-22 at Seoul Air Base, Republic of Korea.

Approximately 200 US service members will showcase a cross-section of US military aircraft for static displays, flyovers and aerial demonstrations.

Seoul ADEX 23

According to a Pacific Air Forces news release, the following aircraft currently tasked to support Seoul ADEX 23 include:

  • F-22 Raptor static and aerial demonstration
  • F-16 Fighting Falcon static and aerial demonstration
  • A-10 Thunderbolt II static and aerial demonstration
  • C-17 Globemaster III aerial demonstration
  • B-52 Stratofortress flyover
  • U-2 Dragon Lady static and flyover
  • C-5 Galaxy static
  • KC-135 Stratotanker static
  • E-3 Sentry static
  • CH-47F Chinook static
  • AH-64 Apache static
  • F-35B Lighting II
  • E/A-18 Growler
BUFF to land in South Korea for first time amid Seoul ADEX 23, the airshow that celebrates 70 years of US - Republic of Korea alliance
USAF B-52H Stratofortress “BUFF” over the Republic of Korea on Jun 30, 2023.

This list is not inclusive and is subject to change.

“2023 marks 70 years of alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea – one that has proven ironclad in the face of challenges over the many decades. It is among the most interoperable, capable and dynamic bilateral alliances in the world,” said Lt. Gen. Scott Pleus, Seventh Air Force commander and US Forces Korea deputy commander. “We are honored to demonstrate our commitment to this partnership through our US participation in Seoul ADEX 23 as part of our continued pledge to promote peace, stability and prosperity on the Korean peninsula.”

BUFF to land in South Korea for first time

Most notably, a B-52H Stratofortress (dubbed BUFF, Big Ugly Fat F****r by her aircrews) is slated to land on the Korean Peninsula for the event—the first time ever the famed bomber has touched down in South Korea, according to all known accounts.

“We are honored and excited to demonstrate our ironclad commitment to the ROK-U.S. Alliance with the participation of the B-52 Stratofortress, and all of our US equipment and personnel in Seoul ADEX 23,” said Maj. Rachel Buitrago, 7th Air Force Public Affairs director, on US Forces Korea Facebook Page. “These flyovers, air demonstrations and static displays, including the landing for the B-52 on the peninsula, is part of our continued pledge to promote peace, stability and prosperity on the Korean peninsula.”

The B-52 Stratofortress aka BUFF

The Stratofortress is a long-range, nuclear and conventional heavy bomber which can perform a variety of missions. The bomber can fly at high, subsonic speeds at altitudes reaching 50,000 feet, with an unrefueled combat range in excess of 8,800 miles and can carry precision-guided ordnance with worldwide precision navigation.

B-52H print
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. B-52H Stratofortress 2nd BW, 20th BS, LA/60-0008 “Lucky Lady IV”. Barksdale AFB, LA

North Korea 2023 missile launches

While the B-52 has never landed in Korea, it has conducted several recent drills near or over the Korean Peninsula. According to Air Force Magazine, on Jun. 30, multiple B-52s from Barksdale Air Force Base, along with F-16s, F-15Es, and South Korean F-35As and KF-16s, conducted a joint flyover of the nation.

Then, on Jul. 13, the BUFF was accompanied by F-16s and three Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) F-15K aircraft for a combined air training session over the peninsula. That exercise followed claims from North Korea that it launched a solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile on Jul. 12, with the capacity to reach the continental United States.

North Korea has continued to carry out numerous missile launches this year, including the most recent test in September when it fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off the eastern coast.

Strengthening the US relationship with the Republic of Korea

Seoul ADEX 23 is the largest, most comprehensive event of its kind in Northeast Asia, attracting aviation and aerospace professionals, key defense personnel, aviation enthusiasts and the general public alike. Moreover, Seoul ADEX 23 offers a venue to further strengthen the US relationship with the ROK and enhance regional security through expanded military-to-military cooperation and with regional partners and allies.

Support to airshows and other regional events allows the US to demonstrate its commitment to the stability and security of the Indo-Pacific region, promote standardization and interoperability of equipment, and display capabilities critical to the success of military operations. It also serves to strengthen long-standing military-to-military relations between the US, the Republic of Korea and partner nations.

Photo credit: Republic of Korea Air Force

B-52 Model
This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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