Mortars can't stop 8th MXG

Base Info
Left to right: Staff Sgts. Jessie Barnett and Marcus Knight, 8th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, arm an F-16 during exercise Beverly Bulldog 14-01 at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 20, 2013. Exercise Beverly Bulldog 14-01 demonstrates and enhances the readiness of 7th Air Force to defend and sustain the capabilities which strengthen the ROK-U.S. Alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Haas/Released)
Left to right: Staff Sgts. Jessie Barnett and Marcus Knight, 8th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, arm an F-16 during exercise Beverly Bulldog 14-01 at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 20, 2013. Exercise Beverly Bulldog 14-01 demonstrates and enhances the readiness of 7th Air Force to defend and sustain the capabilities which strengthen the ROK-U.S. Alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Haas/Released)

Mortars can't stop 8th MXG

by: Staff Sgt. Jessica Haas | .
8th Fighter Wing Public Affair | .
published: November 23, 2013

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea  -- "ALARM BLUE, MOPP 4!"

When Airmen at Kunsan hear this announcement, they know exactly what it means: Don appropriate gear and seek shelter.

For the Airmen on the flight line, they do all that, but brave the elements to get the job done, chemical warfare or not.

The 8th Maintenance Group provides equipment maintenance on F-16 Fighting Falcons to include munitions, aircraft maintenance and maintenance operations support.

The Airmen assigned to the 8th Maintenance Group have a tough job during normal daily operations, but add the obstacle of wearing MOPP gear and performing their jobs during exercises like Beverly Bulldog 14-01, and you've got a challenging situation.

"Making sure everything from bombs, missiles, other munitions, vehicles, aerospace ground equipment, specialized technicians, weapons loaders and crew chiefs are in their place at the right time is a huge challenge," said Col. Michael Morreale, 8th MXG commander. "While we do these things every day, we seldom do so to such an extent.

It should go without saying that doing all this while 'under attack' and in MOPP 4 gear while working up close to very dangerous and lethal equipment is something we never take for granted, which is why we train to the level we do."

While they face these challenges, it's nothing the maintenance group can't handle - they are always prepared and ready to do what is asked of them.

"Well led and well trained maintainers with a well-thought-out plan are essential to overcoming the added challenges of an undertaking this large," said Morreale. "Also having critical dialog with other organizations on base such as the 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron is essential."

The colonel went on to explain that given the magnitude of the operation, resource requirements soar. He praised the Airmen from Wraith Nation, also known as LRS, for doing a great job of supplying the group with what they needed to include extra vehicles, parts and supplies.

"Knowing we're all on the same team working towards the same objective is just one of the keys to success," continued Morreale. "Sheer determination by our people and a complete understanding of where our folks fit into our mission are two other essential ingredients in overcoming those challenges."

With the 8th Maintenance Group at Kunsan Air Base, one thing is certain - the Wolf Pack will always be ready to defend the base, accept follow on forces and take the fight North.

"The Wolf Pack has a world-renowned reputation, spanning beyond our Air Force and Department of Defense to other nations and their militaries, to include our Nation's foes," concluded Morreale. "The men and women of the 8th Maintenance Group are integral to the 8th Fighter Wing's mission and in maintaining that great reputation, which, make no mistake, also serves to deter our adversaries. I could not be prouder to be a part of such a professional group of maintainers. Ready...Steady...Go!"

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