May 31, 2015 (by SrA Divine Cox) - The 8th Fighter Wing relies on more than two thousand permanently assigned Airmen to carry out its mission.
USAF F-16C block 40 #88-0477 from the 175 FS arrives at Kunsan AB on May 14th, 2015. More than 250 South Dakota National Guard from the 114th FW at Joe Foss Field, South Dakota are deployed as part of the rotational Threat Security Package that strengthens US forces across the Asia-Pacific region. [USAF photo by SrA. Divine Cox]
On May 14, 2015, the Wolf Pack welcomed more than 250 South Dakota National Guard from the 114th Fighter Wing, Joe Foss Field, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They are deployed here as the 175th Fighter Squadron, part of the rotational Theater Security Package that strengthens the U.S. forces across the Asia-Pacific region.
This is the 114th Fighter Wing's first deployment to the Wolf Pack as part of a TSP
"Our purpose here is not to just support a rotational Theater Security Package to the region," said Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Rollag, 175th FW TSP superintendent. "Our purpose is to come here for a few months and help support the Wolf Pack's mission."
The TSP members are no strangers to being part of a pack.
"While deployed here to Kunsan, we are part of the Wolf Pack," said Rollag. "This is meaningful to us because at home we are known as the Lobos, which means 'wolf' in Spanish. There, we are known as the Dakota Pack."
Many of the TSP members volunteered for the opportunity to deploy and team up with another Pack thousands of miles away.
"Like the Wolf Pack, we are a very close knit unit," said Staff Sgt. Jon Vande Hoef, 175th Fighter Squadron aerospace propulsion technician,. "I volunteered for the experience to ensure that I share in the responsibilities of deployments with my unit."
Vande Hoef added that this was his first deployment ever, and that he was nervous and excited at the same time.
To ensure the Lobos felt at home at Kunsan, many Wolf Pack units collaborated to prepare for their arrival and to quickly make them feel like part of the Pack.
"The 8th Force Support Squadron, 8th Medical Group, 8th Security Forces Squadron are all involved with us in the preparation for the TSP arrival," said Tech. Sgt. Darrius Core, 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron NCOIC deployment and receptions. "After coordinating with the inbound units on what they need, we reach out to various units across the installation to ensure they have their lodging, meal cards, medical care and flightline access. The faster we work to assimilate them into the 8th FW, the faster they are ready for perform the mission."
All of the planning, organizing, and coordinating ensures a smooth transition into the 8th FW.
"We are very excited to be part of the Wolf Pack," said Rollag. "The hard work and planning the men and women of Kunsan did upon our arrival really showed. Our arrival was seamless, and we look forward to helping Kunsan remain ready to fight tonight."