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

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf, 8th Mission Support Group commander, talks to the 8th Fighter Wing during a change of command ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, June 8, 2017. Col. Zuhlsdorf received command of the 8th MSG from Col. Richard McKee during the ceremony and received the title of “Falcon”. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Hunsaker/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf, 8th Mission Support Group commander, talks to the 8th Fighter Wing during a change of command ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, June 8, 2017. Col. Zuhlsdorf received command of the 8th MSG from Col. Richard McKee during the ceremony and received the title of “Falcon”. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Hunsaker/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf, 8th Mission Support Group commander, receives the guidon from Col. David Shoemaker, 8th Fighter Wing commander, during a change of commander ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, June 8, 2017. Col. Shoemaker presided over the ceremony in which Col. Richard McKee relinquished command of the 8th MSG to Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Hunsaker/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf, 8th Mission Support Group commander, receives the guidon from Col. David Shoemaker, 8th Fighter Wing commander, during a change of commander ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, June 8, 2017. Col. Shoemaker presided over the ceremony in which Col. Richard McKee relinquished command of the 8th MSG to Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Hunsaker/Released)

8th Mission Support Group Airmen stand in formation during a change of command ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, June 8, 2017. Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf took command of the 8th MSG from Col. Richard McKee during which he received the title of “Falcon”. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Hunsaker/Released)

8th Mission Support Group Airmen stand in formation during a change of command ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, June 8, 2017. Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf took command of the 8th MSG from Col. Richard McKee during which he received the title of “Falcon”. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Hunsaker/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. David Shoemaker, 8th Fighter Wing commander, Col. Richard McKee, 8th Mission Support Group outgoing commander, and Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf, 8th MSG incoming commander, salute during a change of command ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, June 8, 2017. During the ceremony Col. Richard McKee relinquished command of the 8th MSG to Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Hunsaker/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. David Shoemaker, 8th Fighter Wing commander, Col. Richard McKee, 8th Mission Support Group outgoing commander, and Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf, 8th MSG incoming commander, salute during a change of command ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, June 8, 2017. During the ceremony Col. Richard McKee relinquished command of the 8th MSG to Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Hunsaker/Released)

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.”