June 2, 2005 (by Franklin Fisher) - Col. Brian T. Bishop assumed command of the 8th Fighter Wing in South Korea on Tuesday, calling on airmen of the "Wolf Pack" to stay honed to "take the fight north."
During a change-of-command ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Bishop replaced Col. William W. Uhle, who had led the wing, also known as the Wolf Pack, since June 2004. The wing commander's position is a one-year tour.
By wing tradition, the Wolf Pack's commander is referred to as the Wolf. Bishop became the 44th Wolf during the 9 a.m. ceremony at Hangar 3.
"Colonel Bishop is an experienced fighter pilot and leader who possesses all the tools necessary to continue the Wolf Pack's proud tradition and to lead to even greater levels of excellence," Lt. Gen. Gary R. Trexler, 7th Air Force commander, said during remarks at the ceremony.
"Nowhere in our Air Force is the warrior spirit more alive than here at the Wolf Pack," Trexler said. "As warrior, you live, you breathe and you constantly train to execute your mission."
Kunsan Air Base lies along South Korea
's western seacoast. Its reputation is as a remote, austere assignment with a high training tempo and limited off-base recreational opportunities. Most airmen there serve one-year, unaccompanied tours.
The wing's squadrons include two F-16 fighter units, the 35th Fighter Squadron, nicknamed the "Pantons," and the 80th Fighter Squadron, the "Juvats."
Trexler said the Wolf Pack's combat capabilities are critical in South Korea to deter aggression "by a dark and evil regime in North Korea. What we do here in Korea and specifically at Kunsan we do because the threat is real, and we must always be ready at a moment's notice."
In his own brief comments, Bishop called on the Wolf Pack to continue honing their skills.
"Throughout this last year, you have been challenged immensely to accomplish extraordinary deeds," said Bishop. "You met that challenge head on and conquered it. I will ask you to take that challenge and live beyond yourself. If we can accomplish these things, we'll be so much better prepared to take the fight north."
Bishop, a command pilot with more than 3,600 flight hours, has held numerous command, staff and operational positions.
He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering. He holds a master's degree in business administration from Oklahoma City University. He graduated from the Air Command and Staff College in 1994 and from the Air War College in 2001.
Bishop's previous assignment was chief of the flight operations division at Air Combat Command headquarters, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
Uhle's next assignment is at the Pentagon as a liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives.