A Hawk's view of Kunsan
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- General Hawk Carlisle, Pacific Air Forces commander, visited Kunsan Air Base Jan. 24, 2014 to address and thank 8th Fighter Wing Airmen for their service, as well as to address the force management issues currently affecting active duty Airmen.
"You are one of a kind," said the general in reference to the Wolf Pack. "You are not in Korea for any other reason than that you believe in what our country stands for, and one of those things is to stand by our friends - the South Koreans."
The PACAF commander continued to express his gratitude for the Wolf Pack Airmen's service, especially because Kunsan is both a forward deployed location and an unaccompanied tour.
"You are really unique," said General Carlisle. "The environment you live in, the fight tonight you live in, the one-year remote - all of those things make you all incredibly unique and I know how hard you work. What you do matters and I really can't tell you how much we appreciate what you do."
The general continued to address the Pack by discussing force management issues - issues he is not happy about but knows are necessary to continue being the world's best Air Force.
"I wish we didn't have to do it," said General Carlisle of the personnel cutbacks. "I think that we have great Airmen in our Air Force who have raised their right hand and swore an oath that they would do everything we asked them to do - they make sacrifices and their family makes sacrifices. Unfortunately, we have another solid obligation to take whatever Congress decides is the budget and have to produce the greatest Air Force in the world."
The general also discussed how the remaining Airmen will make force management changes through providing their innovative ideas. General Carlisle also went on to make two promises to Airmen.
"Every Airman will have the opportunity to find out where they stand within the organization and what options they have," said the PACAF commander. "The second promise I'll make is to make sure you are taken care of. No matter what decision is made, we will do everything in our power to help you in that transition."
"You are the ones at the tip of the spear, you're out there making things happen and my job is to make sure you're taken care of - and that is the moral obligation that I carry," said General Carlisle.
The general closed by reinforcing the value of Airmen's service.
"If you look left and right, front and behind you, the quality of the people we have doing the job we do today is phenomenal," he said. "A vast majority of the Airmen we serve with day in and day out, like all of you, are incredible Airmen. The quality of our force and the opportunity to spend time with folks like you is the reason I love the Air Force."