80th Fighter Squadron, AMU deploy to Singapore; Month-long exercise to test Wolf Pack’s ability to deploy, fight

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Airman 1st Class Robert Nguyen, 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, tightens down a rear panel Wednesday on F-16 Number 314. Aircraft 314 and several other jets assigned to the 80th Fighter Squadron deployed to Singapore Thursday in support of Operation Commando Sling.

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Airman 1st Class Robert Nguyen, 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, tightens down a rear panel Wednesday on F-16 Number 314. Aircraft 314 and several other jets assigned to the 80th Fighter Squadron deployed to Singapore Thursday in support of Operation Commando Sling.

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- More than 70 Airmen from the 80th Fighter Squadron and 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit deployed from Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea in support of Operation Commando Sling March 2.

The month-long deployment, involving joint warfare operations between the U.S. Air Force and its Singapore counterparts, will provide vital fighting skills to the Wolf Pack, said Col. Brian “Wolf” Bishop, 8th Fighter Wing commander.

“Anytime we can train with our partners in the theater, both sides benefit. In the future, we can expect the U.S. will turn to our allies and coalition partners for assistance,” the Wolf said. “I was on the very first deployment (to Singapore) back in 1989. It’s gratifying to know that we consider Singapore such a close ally and that we continue to support this critical exercise.”

The Republic of Singapore air force’s mock missions will allow the Wolf Pack’s F-16s to fight and fly against their aircraft, according to Capt. Edward Francis, 80th FS scheduler.

“The primary focus for Commando Sling will be on the air-to-air missions,” Capt. Francis said. “This will give us the chance to improve upon our training on both ends of the operations. They (Singapore air force) are going to learn from us and we will learn from them.”

In support of the deploying Airmen, the 8th Mission Support Squadron processed them through a deployment line Monday, assisting them with critical issues ranging from pay to wills and even threat conditions. Because of Wolf Pack’s mission to Accept Follow on Forces, they are also extremely proficient at deploying members at a moment’s notice, according to Maj. Jarrard Galbreath, 8th MSS commander.

“We exercise proper procedures (for deploying Airmen) on a regular basis and understand exactly what it takes for precise accountability and beddown of personnel,” he said. “Anytime a Wolf Pack member arrives at a deployed location, the gaining units are generally impressed with the preparedness of our members and thoroughness of their documentation.”

Together with the 8th MSS’s deployment line, the 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron ensures passengers and cargo from the Wolf Pack leave for Singapore in a timely and orderly fashion. From the time the cargo plane lands to the moment it lifts off, the 8th LRS works hard to make the deployment an overall success.

Operation Commando Sling, now in its 16th year, continues to host the Wolf Pack as well as other units from Pacific Air Forces and the U.S. Marine Corps. The goals for Commando Sling including sustainable and enhanced combat training as well as promoting security and stability throughout the Pacific.