Beverly Pack 16-1: Wolf Pack says “Bring it” to Follow-on Forces

by Staff Sgt. Nick Wilson, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Kunsan Air Base

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- This week, Kunsan Air Base's 8th Fighter Wing tested all three key tenants of the Wolf Pack mission: defending the base, accepting follow-on forces and taking the fight north, during Exercise Beverly Pack 16-1 here, Oct. 5 to 9.

Accepting follow-on forces means to take in additional service members to the base and give them the resources they need to immediately perform their wartime duties and take the fight north.

The 8th Force Support Squadron plays a vital role when it comes to ensuring follow-on forces have what they need to conduct their mission.

"Accepting follow-on forces, in the event of a contingency, is to bring the necessary amount of personnel we need to fight the enemy at different stages throughout the conflict," said Lt. Col. Kenneth Mercier, 8th FSS commander. "There's a certain way to do it. We do that in a way that allows them to totally be prepared to go to war right away when they get here."

Upon arrival to base, Airmen are seen by the 8th FSS, where they'll be provided with a processing line to verify records and give Airmen the information they need.

"There are certain forces that arrive at certain times based on what type of contingency we're having," Mercier said. "In coordination with the 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron, we'll know when those forces are coming and how many are coming at different times."

"On the processing line, our Airmen are making sure they're getting people ready to deploy in a timely manner," said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Bierman, 8th Force Support Squadron NCO in charge of customer support. "On the line, we'll review mobility folders and verify everyone's information."

The 8th FSS tries to get the information they need in advance so they can be ready to go at a moment's notice.

"In a wartime situation, it's very fluid and chaotic at times," Mercier said. "It's not going to be a bright and shiny day. You'll have missiles, unidentified ordinance and all kinds of mayhem going on. When you practice that, then you're ready for the real-world situation."

The follow-on forces will immediately move to a room where they will be briefed on operations down range, finances and medical information.

"Essentially, the role the 8th FSS plays in accepting follow-on forces gives Service members what they need to do their jobs in terms of knowing current threat conditions, support the base provides and lodging facilities," Mercier said. "The briefings give Airmen information on what they should expect throughout their deployment and return back home."

After the briefings, forces are released to their dormitories, which have a collective protection system for assigned Airmen and follow-on forces when they come on base.
A CPS is a built-in overpressure system which encloses pressurized, purified air.
Carbon and HEPA, or High Efficiency Particle Attenuation, particulate filters in the CPS remove any nuclear, biological or chemical contamination from the air.

"It's a way to house our personnel in a safe environment free from the chemical attacks," Mercier said. "In terms of FSS and what we do for that, it's part of the in-processing brief so people understand where those facilities are and where they will be safe."

Since no one knows for sure what will happen in the future, Airmen can't completely know what to expect for an emergency or crisis. However, routine exercises help Airmen prepare for the worst.

"I know that my personnel would be ready to conduct the mission in a way that has the 8th Fighter Wing prepared to take the fight north," Mercier said.

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