Wolf Pack pilots, intel tested during wing verification

An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Mar. 5, 2021. Many of the F-16 pilots assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing will participate in a verification process to ensure they are prepared for combat. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Mya M. Crosby)
An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Mar. 5, 2021. Many of the F-16 pilots assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing will participate in a verification process to ensure they are prepared for combat. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Mya M. Crosby)

Wolf Pack pilots, intel tested during wing verification

by Tech. Sgt. Kristin S. High
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea – More than 200 Airmen and Soldiers from across the Wolf Pack watched as F-16 pilots and intelligence personnel took to the stage for verification at Kunsan Air Base, Feb. 26, 2021.

The 8th Fighter Wing conducted a verification to validate operations personnel on their knowledge of the mission and their ability to conduct combat operations.

“The experience targets pilots and intelligence personnel who are new to the wing and its mission,” said Maj. “Scout” Randolph, 8th Operations Support Squadron weapons officer. “While there is no formal testing in an academic sense, participants must prove to Wolf Pack leadership that they are ready and capable of engaging in combat operations.”

Operations personnel went through a week-long academic course, prior to the verification, which consisted of mission planning, studying weapons and tactics, and conducting combat simulations. The academics covered a mix of specific wartime tasks and a deep-dive into the employment of the F-16.

Participants also visited the munitions storage area and the Army Patriot air defense system to see some of the base defense assets and the efforts required to put bombs and missiles on the aircraft they fly.

“While it is a week to focus all of their efforts on preparation for combat, the pilots are constantly preparing for the contingency operations addressed,” Randolph said.

The week of academics culminated with the verification, where participants briefed what they learned to the wing and then took rapid-fire questioning from wing leadership. At the end, the verification board president has the option to either pass or fail participants.

Col. Christopher “Wolf” Hammond, 8th FW commander and verification board president, declared all participants passed their verification and gave closing remarks to the Wolf Pack personnel in attendance.

“I hope your takeaway here is that a lot goes into every mission,” Hammond said. “Pilots don’t just show up to the squadron, grab a set of keys and hop in a jet. It’s typically a 12-hour process, at least, to prepare for a mission, and it’s not just the fighter squadrons and operations support squadron.

While verification briefs are held on an almost quarterly basis, they aren’t always open to members of the Wolf Pack outside the 8th Operations Group. Opening the event to members from across the wing can help Airmen understand how their day-to-day duties support the projection of combat air power. 

“I’ve been going to these for 20-plus years,” Hammond said. “Verification briefs are incredible opportunities to learn and get a holistic view of what goes into every mission.”

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Guam

Recommended Content

Around the Web