Gen. Gary North, U.S. Pacific Forces commander, discusses the life support mission with Staff Sgt. Kim Gage, 80th Fighter Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, during a visit here Oct. 5, 2009. Throughout the three-day visit, the general toured base facilities, hosted an Airman's Call and met with Airmen to talk about their role in the Air Force and PACAF mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Shannon Collins)
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Gen. Gary North, Pacific Air Forces commander, talks to members of the 8th Security Forces Squadron about how they would defend the base Oct. 5. General North visited Kunsan for the first time as the PACAF commander. (U.S. Air Force photo \Senior Airman Jonathan Steffen)
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Gen. Gary North, Pacific Air Forces commander, answers questions about the future of Kunsan Air Base at an Airmen's call Oct. 5. General North visited Kunsan for the first time as the PACAF commander. (U.S. Air Force photo \Senior Airman Jonathan Steffen)
by Senior Airman Roy Lynch
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
10/20/2009 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The Pacific Air Forces Commander talked about Wolf Pack pride during an Airmen's call and Airmen's lunch here recently.
Wolf Pack pride is something General North knows a lot about. He was stationed here as a lieutenant and then returned to be Wolf 38 in 1999. He started his Airmen's call by saying the words all Wolf Pack Airmen know.
"In our business, there are a couple of things that are real important: number one, defend the base, number two, accept follow on forces and number three, take the fight north," General North said, adding "It is an honor to be back among our Airmen Warriors at the Wolf Pack."
General North's perspective as a former Wolf Pack member and now the commander of the 45,000 Airmen Pacific Air Forces had a clear impact on those in attendance.
"General North was a previous Wolf, he already knows how important the mission is at Kunsan," said Airman 1st Class Michael Maasin, 8th Security Forces Squadron. "He told us, not only is the mission important to defenders, but the Wolf Pack as a whole. Each person here has a purpose and a roll to defend the base."
General North also discussed the challenges and demands that face all at the Wolf Pack and across the Air Force, but he specifically discussed the roll of the front line first supervisor...that of the Staff Sergeant.
"Staff sergeants have a pretty heavy rank when they pin that stripe on," he said. "The challenges are many. We have lots of technology and multi billion dollar airplanes and then we hand the ownership to a staff sergeant crew chief. In our business, staff sergeants are the life blood of our Air Force."
The general explained his future plans for the Wolf Pack and how important the Airmen here are to the Air Force.
"He told us that we [Kunsan Airmen] are the backbone of the Air Force and that he is working with the Wolf to improve the quality of life for the Wolf Pack," said Senior Airman Amber Hoffman, 8th Fighter Wing client support technician.
The former Wolf also discussed his time and experiences at the Wolf Pack, and all the changes Kunsan has seen from then to now.
"What does not need to be changed is just how good each one of you is," said General North. "We cannot rest on what we know we can do. We depend on every rank from every member of this wing because we need you to be on our game every day. We are all in this together. We are all ready, able and capable Airmen. In our business, we need to be ready all the time."