KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The Air Force’s Civic Leader Tour visited with the Airmen of the Wolf Pack April 25, 2018, to familiarize themselves with the mission as part of a greater Pacific Air Force command tour.
Accompanied by Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Stephen Wilson, and his wife Mrs. Nancy Wilson, the Air Force Civic Leaders experienced an array of mission sets displaying the Wolf Pack’s overall capabilities to “Defend the base, Accept follow-on forces, and Take the Fight North”.
The Air Force Civic Leader program consists of unpaid advisors, key communicators and advocates for Air Force issues and Airmen across the service. They also provide timely, pertinent information on subjects of general Air Force interest, especially those which have particular application in a Civic Leader’s local area.
“We have a duty to the American public, to help them understand the vital mission their U.S. Airmen at Kunsan, Republic of Korea (ROK)-and across the Korean Peninsula as a whole—undertake to safeguard peace in the region,” said Gen. Wilson. “As a service, one of the ways we help facilitate this flow of information is to bring our civic leaders, who help convey the unique missions, needs, and voices of our Airmen, out to bases where maybe the Airmen don’t have a direct link with U.S. citizens who very much care about their profession.
Because Air Force Civic Leaders explain and interpret Air Force programs, positions, and other areas of interest to the general public they represent, experiencing missions across the service provides first-hand knowledge and understanding to aid members of the Civic Leader program in their discussions with those outside of the military.
While diplomacy remains the primary and preferred means to deal with the threats within the Pacific area of operations, the tour demonstrates how that diplomacy is backed by credible combat power. Observing the Wolf Pack’s capabilities enabled the Air Force Civic Leaders to visualize not only the lethality of the unit’s mission, but also the strength of the ROK-US alliance – a key focus area for many people in the U.S. and abroad at this time.
During their time with the Wolf Pack, Gen. and Mrs. Wilson along with the Air Force Civic Leaders spoke with Airmen from across the base.
“The Air Force has multiple resources to help,” said Mrs. Wilson. “It’s your job to make facilities aware if the classes or amenities that they offer are within reach or not. Be the demand, if there is a class they provide, but you or your Airmen cannot attend; let it be known.”
The tour finished with a meeting between the Civic Leaders and the leadership of the ROK Air Force's 38th Fighter Group, which is co-located with the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan.
It’s really important for the civic leaders to see this mission, especially since we’re on the only base where we share fighter aircraft with our ROK partners,” said Gen. Wilson. “Shared learning, common understanding and trust are vital to the future of the iron-clad partnership with our Korean allies.”
Republic of Korea Air Force Col. Jeon Jae Kyun, 38th FG commander, echoed the sentiment by discussing the many successes that have brought the two nations’ Air Forces closer together.
“If you look back 60 years from now, you would see a lot of differences in Korea, and we would like to thank the U.S. Air Force, because we would not be where we are now as a flying branch without their support and guidance,” said Jeon.
The Air Force Civic Leader’s visit will continue on from Kunsan as part of a greater Pacific Air Forces showcase, aiming to demonstrate why modernization is vital in countering threats; communicate why and how today's budget forces tradeoffs between readiness and modernization, how those tradeoffs could pose a threat to U.S. national security; and explain how capabilities degrade over time if modernization is not properly funded.