OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --
General Robin Rand, Air Force Global Strike Command commander and former 36th Fighter Squadron commander, the squadron’s 93rd “Fiend One”, visited the base for three days to attend events in honor of the 36th FS, Flying Fiend’s, centennial celebration.
Osan was the third stop during Rand’s visit to the Pacific region. During his travels, the general visited Andersen Air Force Base, Guam and Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea before making his final stop to visit Team Osan where his first command, the 36th FS, stands today.
“The squadron was really ecstatic to have the general here,” said Lt. Col. Michael “Stab” McCarthy, 36th FS commander. “It really put our events over the top this week.”
During his visit, Rand had the opportunity to participate in a few heritage events held by the Flying Fiends throughout the week which culminated at the Centennial Ball. He was even able to assist a new aviator in receiving his call sign during the fighter squadron’s roll call before the ball.
“I got my call sign at our last roll call,” said 1st Lt. Frank “Tank” Martin, 36th FS F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot. “Gen. Rand was the experienced pilot that guided me through the tradition. I’ll never forget it.”
Rand was also able to attend a piano burning ceremony, which is a fighter squadron tradition rooted back to the Royal Air Force in WWII where one of the aviators was a skilled pianist. He was KIA during a mission, so the unit burned the piano. It is burned today as a tradition in honor of those that did not make it back during a wartime operation.
Finally, Rand was the guest speaker at the Fiends’ Centennial Ball. F-16 fighters travelled from around the peninsula to join other base members to listen to the general speak at this most historical event.
“It was really special that Gen. Rand visited as the commander of AFGSC, and recently we [the Fiends] have worked closely with the B-1 Lancers,” McCarthy continued. “With recent missions working with AFGSC in deterring aggressions with North Korea, it sends an important message with his visit to Osan and the 7th Air Force.”