KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander (COMPACAF) and former 8th Fighter Wing commander, visited Kunsan Air Base (AB), Republic of Korea, as part of an Indo-Pacific region immersion tour, Aug. 29, 2018.
Brown was accompanied by his wife, Sharene, and Chief Master Sergeant Anthony Johnson, PACAF command chief, and his wife, Stephanie. During their visit, the group toured several facilities, met Airmen from across the base and recognized top performers.
In addition, Brown held an all-call where he laid out his priorities, expectations and vision as the new COMPACAF.
“The key part of success for PACAF is how we execute the mission,” said Brown. “What I’m really looking for in our Airmen is for them to give it their all. We’re all in this together and it’s going to take a bit of teamwork.”
Brown commented that leadership at all levels, including the U.S. Forces Korea and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command commanders, depend on 8th Fighter Wing Airmen being ready at a moment’s notice.
“I think the real part of what Kunsan, and really what all of the service members on the Korean Peninsula do, is help strengthen the U.S. and Republic of Korea alliance,” said Brown. “It’s the combat power we bring together, all of the training opportunities we have together, and of course, all of the friendships we build in the time we’re here.”
Understanding the important role the 8th Fighter Wing plays in maintaining a strong relationship between the United States and South Korea did not start when Brown took command of Pacific Air Forces.
As a first lieutenant, Brown was assigned to the 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron, commonly referred to as the “Pantons” at Kunsan AB from April 1987 to October 1988 as an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot. He returned 19 years later as Wolf 46, the 8th Fighter Wing’s 46th commander from 2007 to 2008.
The title “Wolf” has been the designated call sign for all 8th Fighter Wing commanders since Col. Robin Olds, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing commander. He first donned the title in 1967 during Operation BOLO, a deceptive flying mission during the Vietnam War that drew enemy MiGs into a fight against U.S. F-4Cs armed for air-to-air combat – termed “wolves in sheep’s clothing” and thus the Wolf Pack was born.
The general said it was a privilege to be back at the Wolf Pack, and he was very proud of the Airmen. He added it was great to see the growth of the host nation each time he visited and the ambition of the Korean people.
“As I talk to Airmen and they figure out I was a previous ‘Wolf’ we all talk about our experience at Kunsan,” said Brown. “It’s not just traditions but the overall experience we get because the Wolf Pack is such a tight knit organization, with a very historical perspective we all take pride in.”
Brown, whose first duty assignment was at Kunsan AB, left the Wolf Pack with a final piece of advice for Airmen who are just starting out or going through changes in their career.
“When I first got here as a lieutenant I planned to stay for a year but ended up staying another 18 months, which helped set me up for future opportunities,” said Brown. “For anyone just starting out, the key part is to learn how to do your job and get as much knowledge as you can from those with experience, while at the same time, asking a lot of questions to learn. This will help you start your journey and find your path in the Air Force.”