Wolf Pack and Gunsan City celebrate 40th anniversary
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Members of the 8th Fighter Wing and community members of Gunsan City celebrated 40 years of partnership at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, with an evening of dinner and reminiscing fond memories at the Loring Club here Sept. 17.
According to Robert Vanderpool, 8th Fighter Wing historian, beginning in late 1968, both the 354th and subsequently the 3rd tactical fighter wings served as host units at Kunsan AB before the arrival of the 8 FW in Sept. 16, 1974.
In September of 1974, the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing moved to Kunsan AB from Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, after concluding combat operations during the Vietnam War, Vanderpool explained.
This is when the 8 FW first assumed responsibilities as the host unit at Kunsan AB.
"Since the unit's arrival from Thailand, the people of Gunsan City have been kind and generous hosts," said Col. Ken "Wolf" Ekman, 8 FW commander. "Over the years, Wolf Pack Airmen have savored the culture of Gunsan City, built enduring friendships and shown gratitude by donating time and energy to the needs of the city."
Through the many volunteer services the 8 FW has offered to the Gunsan community, the relationship between the 8th FW and Gunsan City continues to be strong.
Moon Dong-Shin, Mayor of Gunsan City said, "I truly believe that based on the common values that the two nations share, we will promote and pursue freedom, human rights and peace and prosperity together."
The relationship between the 8 FW, the ROK Air Force 38th Fighter Group and the City of Gunsan are a shining example of a shared commitment to the security of the Korean Peninsula.
"It is critically important that we develop strong relationships, on and off base," said Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, 7th Air Force commander. "Kunsan AB and the City of Gunsan provide a brilliant example of this mutually beneficial partnership."
Vanderpool also explained that today, along with its partners from the ROKAF 38th FG, the 8 FW ensures Kunsan-based Airmen remain ready to "Defend the Base, Accept Follow-On Forces, and Take the Fight North."
"I encourage all members of the Wolf Pack to continue to explore the community and get to know your neighbors in Gunsan," said Ekman. "Happy 40th Anniversary to the Wolf Pack and Gunsan City!"