Wolf hears from Airmen at town hall
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 8th Fighter Wing commander held three town hall sessions at the base theater here Sept. 8, 2014, to provide Wolf Pack Airmen an opportunity to discuss base support issues with a six-member panel of wing leadership.
"I set up these informal sessions because I want to hear straight from you. We want to know, 'What is it like to live and work on Kunsan Air Base?'" said Col. Ken "Wolf" Ekman, 8 FW commander. "The mission you all perform each day is very demanding, so we are here to receive feedback on any quality of life issues you have. After that, we owe you solutions."
Wolf was joined on stage by a panel of wing leadership to include Col. Dennis "Falcon" Curran, 8th Mission Support Group commander, Col. Tambra "Hawk" Yates, 8th Medical Group commander, and various mission support group squadron commanders.
Approximately 450 Wolf Pack Airmen attended one of three offered sessions to speak openly with leadership.
Throughout the panel discussions, Airmen raised concerns on issues ranging from availability of medical services and dining facility hours, to various questions on dormitory living conditions and concerns with the environment.
Master Sgt. Conne Miller, 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit Airframe Powerplant General Section chief, said she truly felt wing leadership was looking into issues affecting Kunsan and working hard to get them corrected.
"I think the 'town hall' format was very beneficial to Kunsan Air Base," said Miller. "Our wing leadership explained a lot, and it was a great relief to receive instant answers to the questions."
One of the recurring questions included Delta Pad food service hours for maintenance shift workers.
"We are pleased to announce that starting Nov. 1, 2014, the D-Pad will begin serving midnight meals at least through January 2015," said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Sutton, 8th Force Support Squadron commander.
Airmen also voiced concerns about the condition of old washing machines and dryers in the dormitories.
"We are aware of this issue and understand your frustration," said Maj. Timothy Grady, 8th Civil Engineering Squadron operations flight commander. "Over half of our Quality of Life support funds have been allocated to fixing this issue, and you will see results by November."
Having access to medical support services was also addressed at multiple sessions.
"Your medical care is very important to us," said Hawk. "In order to increase your access, we have extended our duty-day hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to make sure you are getting seen in a timely fashion."
While solutions to some issues were instantly provided, other concerns were brought to leadership's attention for the first time.
"Having the meetings gives leadership the advantage to see the shortcomings and where we need to improve," said Senior Airman Tyler Trusty, 8th Comptroller Squadron lead defense travel administrator. "I feel they truly wanted to know about our quality of life at Kunsan."
By the end of the sessions, wing leadership had much greater insight on the issues affecting the Wolf Pack.
"Thank you all for coming forward with these concerns," said Wolf. "We remain committed to you and providing the resources you need to live well, succeed in your mission, and fight tonight."