Wolf 54 takes command
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 8th Fighter Wing conducted a change of change of command ceremony May 16, 2014 at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea.
Col. S. Clinton Hinote, outgoing commander, relinquished command to Col. Kenneth Ekman, 8th Fighter Wing commander, in a ceremony presided by Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, Republic of Korea and U. S. Combined Forces Command, Air Component Command commander.
Hinote reflected on his time at Kunsan and spoke of the partnership shared with host nation counterparts.
"I believe that we lead the way in demonstrating how the people of America and the people of Korea can work together and live together," said Hinote. "And how the United States Air Force and the Republic of Korea air force, if called upon, would fight together. We are the best team."
After assuming command, Ekman expressed his excitement as he returns to Korea to become part of the 8th Fighter Wing.
"I'm excited about returning to the land of the morning calm," said Ekman. "I share your commitment to one of the most important and successful alliances in the free world."
Speaking on the wing's mission, Jouas emphasized the importance of the work accomplished at Kunsan.
"The 8th Fighter Wing, as we all know, boasts a rich and distinguished history and is unmatched by any other fighter wing in our Air Force," said Jouas. "The strength of the Wolf Pack is a huge piece of the U. S. contribution to this alliance. That strength is demonstrated through your incredible achievements over the past 12 months."
Ekman vowed to continue to uphold the 8th Fighter wing image and mission.
"I'm excited and humbled to stand alongside these great Airmen," said Ekman. "Going forward, you can count on us to be ready to defend the base, accept follow-on forces and take the fight North."
As a part of 7th Air Force and U.S. Forces Korea, Ekman will serve as Area VI commander for more than 7,000 Air Force and Army personnel responsible for helping defend the Korean peninsula with our Republic of Korea partners.