On 23 January 1968 North Korean patrol boats supported by two Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 fighters captured the USS Pueblo northeast of the North Korean island of Ung-do. The seizure of the Pueblo led to President Lyndon Johnson ordering a show of force with a massive deployment of U.S. air and navy assets to Korea. The airlift and deployment of 200+ aircraft was code named Operation Combat Fox while the deployment of six aircraft carriers plus support vessels was code named Operation Formation Star. The operations were supported by the partial mobilization of reservists for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. CIA A-12 Oxcart reconnaissance overflights over North Korea were used to monitor a feared retaliatory mobilization of North Korean forces and when these flights revealed no mobilization or large scale deployments by North Korean forces, Operation Combat Fox forces were stood down.
Publicly, the Soviet Union responded by augmenting their naval forces in the Pacific and by sending a letter to the US president Lyndon B. Johnson on 3 February 1968 demanding that the United States scale back their build-up in the Sea of Japan. Privately however, Alexei Kosygin gave assurances to the US ambassador in Moscow (Llewellyn Thompson) on 6 February 1968 that the Soviet Union had no intention to go to war over Kim Il Sung's provocation. As a response to this overture, Lyndon Johnson agreed to withdraw one unnamed vessel "somewhat southward". This exchange enabled Brezhnev to make a subsequent face-saving statement to the 23rd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union that the Soviet letter was answered by the Americans by withdrawing the USS Enterprise from DPRK's shores.
Fifth Air Force - Osan AFB (Advance echelon sent from Fuchu AS)