9/15/2009 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --
Members of Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, stood by as Col. Jerry D. Harris relinquished command of the Wolf Pack to Col. Robert P. Givens, the new 8th Fighter Wing commander.
Presiding over the ceremony was Brig. Gen. Michael Keltz, 7th Air Force vice commander. Also in attendance was the mayor of Gunsan City, Mayor Moon, Dong Shin and the commander and command chief of the Republic of Korea Air Force 38th Fighter Group at Kunsan, Col. Oh, Chang Gyu and Chief Master Sgt. Yun, Kyu Dong, respectively.
General Keltz, who took the stage before the official ceremony spoke to the Wolf Pack about the merits of the two commanders participating in the change of command.
"J.D., you have done an incredible job," said General Keltz. "You came here under difficult circumstances and you got it done. The Wolf Pack got an excellent on their ORI and turned into a sortie generation machine."
Colonel Harris, will be the Assistant Director of Operations, Plans, Requirements and Programs at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. He also had a few last words to Kunsan members as Wolf 48.
"Though, I would never wish for war," said Colonel Harris, "my only regret is that I wasn't able to watch the men and women of the Wolf Pack execute what they have been preparing to do for the last year. You had the courage to set high goals that were nearly unreachable and diligently worked to achieve them. Wolf Pack ... thank you from a grateful Wolf."
After receiving the Legion of Merit, first oak leaf cluster, and the Korean National Security Merit Samil Medal, Colonel Harris relinquished command and Colonel Givens gave his first remarks as the 8 FW commander.
"The Wolf Pack stands here without our families, shoulder to shoulder, with our allies to deter that government [North Korea]," said Colonel Givens. "Should deterrence fail, then every Airman in this wing, from those who defend the perimeter, to those who accept the reinforcements, to those who launch the aircraft and those who drop our bombs to kill their MiGs, will come together as one mighty fist to make them regret their ways.
"The heritage, pride and reputation of this wing is based on combat. Do not forget it and let the North never doubt it," he said.
Colonel Givens is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours in the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science in History.
He has flown more than 100 career combat sorties in Operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom. Major decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf cluster and valor device for heroism in action against Iraq.