Mustang's mission, four principles

by Senior Airman David Owsianka
51st Fighter Wing PAO

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- This is the first in a series of articles relating an overview of the mission at Osan Air Base. The major role Team Osan plays in the Republic of Korea and the extent of its mission will be showcased in several areas including: defending the base, executing operations, receiving forces and reinforcing stability in the ROK. Concluding the series will be a wrap-up article with a video showing the broad spectrum of the base's mission.

Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, is home to the most forward, permanently deployed Airpower Team in the world and our collective mission is to reinforce stability in the ROK.

"The mission of not only the Mustangs, but all of Team Osan is incredibly important," said Col. Brook Leonard, 51 FW and Installation Commander. "The foundation of this mission is built on the strength of the U.S.-ROK alliance, a steadfast and unwavering commitment between our nations that has expanded into a deep, comprehensive partnership working together to combat regional and global threats.  Simply put our mission is stability brought about by daily readiness."

Upon arriving at Osan, Airmen are quickly oriented, equipped and trained upon arrival.   

'Fight Tonight' or more appropriately 'Fight Right Now' is not merely a slogan to Team Osan," said Leonard. "As soon as an Airman, Soldier, Sailor or Marine steps off the plane, they quickly learn the importance of being trained and ready to fight at a moment's notice. Everything we do, from flying armistice training sorties to ensuring a member's pay is correct to maintaining our infrastructure and securing the base--everything hinges on being always ready, tonight--or sooner if necessary."   

The first mission principle, defend the base, ensures all Team Osan members act as sensors to properly alert security forces response teams if something suspicious occurs.  Defending the base isn't just about the people either, it also is ensuing that the base infrastructure is capable of withstanding a potential attack.

The second mission principle, execute operations, calls the men and women of the 51st FW to provide combat ready forces for close air support, air strike control, forward air control-airborne, combat search and rescue, counter air and fire and interdiction in the defense of the ROK.

The third mission principle, receive forces, covers the gamut of military operations to include receiving, bedding down, maintaining and employing follow-on forces.  This takes an incredible amount of effort, but the effort is vital to ensure sustained combat operations.

"Receiving forces is a critical enabler in our collective ability to fight tonight," said Lt. Col. William Berck, 731st Air Mobility Squadron commander.  "As one of a handful of tenant units on Osan, I know firsthand the importance of getting personnel, equipment and resources on the ground quickly and safely.  This reception is the backbone of our operations."  

The last mission principle, reinforce stability in the ROK, is the glue that binds all the other mission principles together.

"Supporting and defending the Republic of Korea is not only important here in Korea, but adds to stability in the entire Asia-Pacific region," said Leonard.  "Everything when do here is built upon a mutual trust between the U.S and the ROK, and the collective strength of our Airpower Team to deter and defeat aggression.  This results in a realistic and robust readiness unmatched anywhere."

In order to be ready to reinforce stability in the ROK, the base holds multiple training exercises throughout the year to test Team Osan's combined strength and readiness. These exercises focus on robust readiness and test Osan's wartime procedures in order to look at our ability to defend the base, execute operations and receive follow-on forces in a realistic manner.

Stay tuned this week for an in-depth look at the first mission principle, defend the base.

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