KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing and the 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard, who are deployed as part of a Theater Security Package, conducted a regularly-scheduled exercise at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, August 21 to 25, 2017.
The installation-wide exercise was a part of the wing commanders’ inspection program to test the operational readiness and ability to rapidly respond to U.S. Forces Korea commander requirements to defend the Korean Peninsula in the event of a contingency operation.
“This week-long exercise allows us to practice as an entire wing under a contested environment,” said Maj. Michael Willhide, 8th FW director of inspections. “The scenarios our Airmen endure test their ability as well as help us identify areas that have issues, so we can improve.”
During the exercise, the Wing Inspection Team employed a variety of situations in a simulated chemical environment, which kept Airmen engaged around the clock to test their ability to survive and continue with their missions.
Simulated events included attacks which put the 8th Security Forces Squadron on the front lines to defend the base, medical emergencies which tested the 8th Civil Engineering Squadron and the 8th Medical Group’s ability to rapidly respond across the base, and weapons preparation and aircraft maintenance to conduct continuous F-16 Fighting Falcon launches – challenging members of the 8th Maintenance and Operations Groups.
“This was my first exercise,” said Senior Airman Branden Webb, 8th Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion journeyman. “I had all the knowledge I needed prior to this exercise, but there is a difference between knowing all the tools I’ve been given to complete the mission and actually implementing it during all the chaos.”
The training exercise put Airmen to the test, but ultimately every person on the installation knew that this exercise was an opportunity to practice defending the base, accepting follow-on forces and taking the fight north.
“I’ve learned to always be prepared, and even though it’s practice, I’m still going to get at it,” said Webb.