Fifty-third 'Wolf' takes command
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Col. S. Clinton Hinote assumed command of the 8th Fighter Wing during a ceremony in Hangar 3, May 10, 2013 at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea., where Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, 7th Air Force commander, was the presiding officer.
More than 500 Airmen and distinguished visitors from around the peninsula, including the local mayor, ROK and U.S. military dignitaries, a former 8th Fighter Wing commander and "Wolf 44,"Maj. Gen. Brian T. Bishop witnessed the transition from "Wolf 52" to "Wolf 53" alongside the Wolf Pack.
Col. John W. Pearse, outgoing 8th FW commander, reflected on the year and shared his appreciation for the excellence the Wolf Pack displayed as the "Class of 2013."
"People cry when they get orders to Kunsan because they have to leave their family for a year," said Pearse. "But, they also cry when they leave Kunsan because they have made such a special military family while they were here."
Pearse handed over the official "Wolf" moniker to Hinote, making Hinote the 53rd commander to lead the Wolf Pack.
Hinote eagerly accepted the title, and with it the duties of Wolf.
"General Jouas, Thank you for this special opportunity to lead a wing with such a storied legacy of the Wolf Pack," said Hinote. "As we move forward, we will continue to prepare to 'Fight Tonight', knowing that the more prepared we are, the less likely it is we will have to fight."
Embracing the Wolf Pack mission, Hinote added, "...if the enemy so chooses, we will stand ready to accomplish the Wolf Pack mission: To defend the base, accept follow on forces, and take the fight north."
Each pillar of the Wolf Pack mission was met with the boisterous response by Wolf Pack members. Synchronized shouts of "hooah," "bring it," and "Wolf Pack" were volleyed back at the new commander as he re-affirmed the 8th FW mission.
In reference to the heritage of the Wolf Pack, Jouas said, "The Wolf Pack and the 8th Fighter Wing boast a rich and distinguished history unmatched by any fighter wing in our air forces--spanning over 60 years of service in the pacific theater.
"Wolf Pack, you represent the finest America has to offer. I thank you for your dedication and your spirit. I'm extremely honored to serve with each and every one of you." Jouas said.
Under 7th Air Force, Hinote will also serve as the U.S. Forces Korea Area VI commander for more than 7,000 Air Force and Army personnel responsible for helping defend the Korean peninsula alongside Republic of Korea partners.