Combat tested, Wolf Pack approved
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 8th Fighter Wing kicked off Beverly Midnight 14-2, a multi-faceted wing-level inspection, July 14, 2014.
The wing tested its ability to train the newly assigned Airmen, uphold the safety standards, synchronize the mission capabilities of tenant units, and test the readiness of the experienced Airmen to execute the mission.
Training the new Wolf Pack members on the warfighting mission is a wolf pack priority.
"This exercise, I think, is probably the most important for the newer people that are coming in especially on the senior leadership staff," said Master Sgt. Eric O'Brien, 8th Fighter Wing Inspector General manager. "I would say about 99 percent of them are new.
We're trying to capture the folks that have been here the longest and have the most knowledge ... and pass as much of that information on to the newer personnel that are just arriving."
Even the younger ranking members of the Wolf Pack understand the importance of being combat ready.
"It's extremely important that our base is protected at all times; that is why we exercise," said Airman 1st Class Artyste Forman, 8th Security Forces Squadron installation patrolman. "I'm very excited to learn a lot, this being my first exercise ... In my job, we are the first line of defense, so I am ready for anything."
In some cases, the Airmen are receiving turnover during the exercise from the Airman they are replacing.
"This exercise is a great opportunity to bridge all the gaps that we need for a changeover in this job," said Master Sgt. Justin Carlton, incoming 8th Fighter Wing Inspector General manager. "[The previous Inspector General manager] is leaving, and I'm coming on to take over his position and this exercise happened at the right time so that I can shadow him."
"The whole goal is to improve our continuity, which is unfortunately something we have to work with frequently, given the fact that we have such turnover," said Col. Kenneth P. Ekman, 8th Fighter Wing commander.
Ekman also emphasized the importance of safely practicing how we fight under extreme summer heat conditions.
"We're doing it in the heat of the summer and because we're doing it with some inexperienced Airmen, I want to make sure we conduct this operation safely, and so safety is a main goal of this exercise," he added.
Another key component of the exercise synchronized mission capabilities of Wolf Pack tenant units. The wing coordinated efforts with the Office of Special Investigations, Armed Forces Network and the Alpha Battery 2-1, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
Several members of the 35th ADA BDE employed their capabilities alongside the Wolf Pack, while the base proved its ability to survive and operate.
"The Patriot is an important component to enabling the joint and coalition forces to complete the mission for the combatant commander," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Anthony Sarago, 35th BDE tactician and system technician. "Participating in this exercise identified weaknesses in our communication link and possible solutions were offered to enhance our ability to cross talk."
For five days, Wolf Pack Airmen reacted and responded to numerous simulated attacks and various scenarios designed to gauge their combat readiness.
"I think that for Wolf Pack Airmen, this is what we do and we talk about it a lot within the context of our armistice training, but this is a great opportunity to practice our wartime skills," said Ekman, "this is a matter of flexing our muscles and using some muscles we don't use day in and day out during armistice."