New ‘Falcon’ continues Defend the Base, Accept Follow-on Forces missions

by Capt. Christopher Mesnard, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Stripes Korea

Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea -- Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf accepted command of the 8th Mission Support Group from Col. Richard McKee during a change of command ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, June 8, 2017.

Col. David Shoemaker, 8th Fighter Wing commander, oversaw the event and provided his guidance on continuing the successes of the support group.

“The Wolf Pack is an amazing team—one that is laser-focused on our mission,” said Shoemaker. “To be able to take the fight on a 360 heading, we must first defend the perimeter and receive follow-on forces. Those functions reside in your group, Falcon. Your Airmen are vital to the mission.”

The 8th MSG is responsible for ensuring Kunsan AB remains secure through the 8th Security Forces Squadron and is capable of bedding down, feeding and otherwise housing additional forces through the 8th Force Support Squadron, 8th Logistics Squadron and other units who ensure the base can meet its mission.

McKee offered his gratitude to the Airmen, both in the group and those outside it, who helped impact the various exercises the fighter wing supported and the accolades the 8th MSG received over the past year.

“For me, today is really about giving thanks and paying tribute to the men and women of the 8th MSG,” said McKee. “Every accomplishment rested solely on the shoulders of the Airmen of the 8th Mission Support Group this past year.”

Shoemaker also offered historical and contemporary context the support group brings to the 8th FW, tying in the success of Operation Bolo during the Vietnam War to the logistics support to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing.

“From Robin Olds to today, the importance of the mission support role has been the same, although under different names,” Shoemaker stated. “Operation Bolo wouldn’t have been possible without an LRS to coordinate for a C-141 full of [electronic countermeasure] pods to be expedited from Hill AFB.”

Zuhlsdorf is no stranger to Kunsan, previously serving here as the 8th Civil Engineering Squadron Readiness Flight commander from July 2002 – August 2003.

“What an honor and privilege it is to serve as the Kunsan Air Base Mission Support Group commander,” said Zuhlsdorf. “The strategic importance of this air base, teaming with the Republic of Korea to provide the United States, our allies and partners viable national security options in a hotly contested area of the world does not escape me.”

Zuhlsdorf closed the ceremony by providing his thoughts on the strategic role his group supports at Kunsan AB.

‘We will be ready, we will continue to provide outstanding customer service, and we will seek to leave a legacy that will complement the mythology that this base engenders,” Zuhlsdorf said. “I know each and every one of you is up to the task.”

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