US, ROK airmen get glimpse into each other's worlds
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Wolf Pack Airmen worked side by side with their Republic of Korea Air Force counterparts Jan. 30 for a day of learning about each other's jobs and cultures.
This job exchange was the first of its kind at Kunsan, and focused on learning about what the other side does on a daily basis. It also encouraged better communication between the two air forces.
"I had never been over to the ROKAF side at all, so it was interesting to see how they are set up and operate," said Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Hannah, 8th Maintenance Operations Squadron quality assurance.
The Airmen see each other walking around the base and interact during other activities, but many are unaware of what goes on day in and day out at the other's work centers.
This exchange started off with a small group of four career fields: fuels, weapons, crew chiefs and quality assurance.
The ROKAF Airmen spent the morning observing the work process of the American Airmen. The afternoon was then spent over on the ROKAF side of Kunsan.
The command chiefs from the 8th Fighter Wing and ROKAF 38th Fighter Group initially discussed having the exchange just a few months ago. Both agreed it was important to make this day happen because of the units' shared goals.
"We don't share the same language, but we share the same jobs and missions," said Chief Master Sgt. Phillip Robinson, 8th FW command chief. "Knowing how the ROKAF operates is vital - if anything happens, we rely on each other. The more we learn about them, the stronger our relationship will be and the more prepared we'll be to 'take the fight north.'"
Both sides noticed the similarities and differences in operations, and were able to ask and answer questions with the help of volunteer translators from both air forces. Lessons learned from this exchange will be used in the future to develop an even bigger and more successful event which will cover more careers.