Wolf Pack: Capable anytime, anywhere
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The Wolf Pack kicked off unit effectiveness inspection Beverly Midnight 14-01 Feb. 5, 2014 to demonstrate mission capabilities and ensure the Wolf Pack is ready to fight at a moment's notice.
Following suit with the commander's priorities of being ready at any time, this exercise kicked off with no notice whatsoever and focused more on asymmetric warfare than any other exercise before.
"Asymmetric warfare focuses on attacks from SOF, or Special Operations Forces," said Lt. Col. Mike Matesick, 8th Fighter Wing Inspector General. "During this exercise, Airmen are seeing more sniper kills and high-value target kills through the use of improvised explosive devices, which is more typical of the non-conventional warfare we expect to see from North Korean SOF."
"This exercise was designed to be the most realistic that we have done here at Kunsan," said Col. S. Clinton Hinote, 8th Fighter Wing commander. "We had almost no warning, we were unsure about our exact tasking, and we had to fight through an insider threat. That is about as challenging as it gets, and it is also very realistic. Our Wing Inspection Team did a great job of designing an exercise that pushed us and forced us to adapt and learn."
Hinote was deliberate in the planning of this exercise, noting that it was unrealistic to give a week or even two-week notice for when the exercise would start.
"I want to quote a Seahawk football player who was recently asked if he was ready for the Super Bowl," said Hinote during a recent promotion ceremony. "His response can be applied to what we do here - 'If you're always ready, you don't have to get ready.' This is how the Wolf Pack needs to and will operate."
Bases here on the Korean peninsula are unique in the way they exercise - Kunsan practices to the fullest of their capabilities, which provides the best possible training environment for Airmen. Much of the training focuses on preparing for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attack.
"Within 35 minutes of the start of the exercise, a vehicle-born IED exploded next to one of the largest dormitories on base," said Matesick. "Fire, security forces and medical personnel responded to the attack in true Wolf Pack fashion- securing the area, tending to wounded personnel and extracting victims from the burning building. This exercise is just one way the Wolf Pack validates its ability to execute combat operations in a contested environment."
Airmen conduct 24-hour operations for nearly a week as they train for any possible scenario. Typical exercise injects include everything from self-aid and buddy care situations to decontaminating personnel. It takes a coordinated effort between every unit on base to make sure the mission happens.
Aircraft generation is one of the most important parts of the exercise, and each unit plays a role in making sure that happens. Medical personnel are on standby ready to take care of any injuries or emergencies. The 8th Mission Support Group oversees contamination control and shelter management, among other things.
The 8th Maintenance Group provides equipment maintenance on F-16 Fighting Falcons to include munitions, aircraft maintenance and maintenance operations support.
In the end, it's about getting the mission done while making clear the Air Force's intentions.
"I'm very proud of the Wolf Pack," said Hinote. "I know this wasn't like a normal exercise, but our world is growing less and less normal. Because of your effort this week, we are more prepared to do our mission. Well done!"