8th LRS: The soul behind the Wolf Pack’s mission

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Brandon DeBlanc
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

In the throes of a busy work week, most Airmen will not stop to consider how they received the equipment or vehicles that enable them to fulfill their duties every day.

Behind this curtain of inattention is where the 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron, also known as Wraith Nation, operates and thrives.

“We do the difficult every day,” said Capt. Michelle Paras, 8th LRS director of operations. “It can be hard for someone to articulate what logistics is and all the work and technical expertise that it involves, but they would realize it very quickly if we were not there or if we failed to complete our mission.”

Wraith Nation is responsible for all aspects of logistics for the 8th Fighter Wing. These responsibilities include managing U.S. Forces Korea’s largest government owned and operated fuel operation, annually delivering more than 14 million gallons of fuel and cryogenics products to energize about 40 F-16 Fighting Falcons as well as other assets.

“There’s so much going on in a single day, from keeping the jets and vehicles fueled and supplied with parts to deploying a dozen planes and more than 300 people for an exercise,” said Paras. “It is a lot to handle, but Wraith Nation gets it done.”

After a year filled with successes, Airmen within the squadron are reaping the bounty of their efforts.

The 8th FW commander commended the individual protection equipment section for taking proactive inventory of supplies and mitigating a decades-old compound storage issue. In doing so, the team identified assets requiring disposal, while also repurposing over 7,000 assets for training gear.

“Having full accountability of our assets allows us to confidently prepare and plan, securing success in our mission,” said Senior Airman David Torres-Torres, 8th LRS IPE journeyman. “Without what we do day-to-day the Wolf Pack wouldn’t be able to practice and prepare for the possibility of a conflict.”

Other groups being acknowledged for their efforts are the deployment and distribution flight and the installation deployment readiness cell that led the way for Wraith Nation’s largest undertaking of the past year… Operation Pack Up.

In case you missed it, during OPU, 8th FW assets were deployed in four different locations, simultaneously operating in three different countries for five months to facilitate the repair of the Kunsan AB runway.

The Airmen of the 8th LRS successfully moved a total of 1.2 million pounds of cargo and 702 personnel while ensuring the Wolf Pack’s participation in various training operations across the Indo-Pacific theater.

“OPU obviously was a huge lift for the wing… from the logistics perspective it was a lot of stress and some long hours, but it was rewarding to see our efforts come together successfully,” said Capt. Jeremy Fagan, 8th FW installation deployment officer. “We appreciate the experience and now have seen just how important we are to the Wolf Pack’s mission.”

Fagan was recently coined by the 8th FW commander and credits all OPU success to a team effort made possible by the Airmen of Wraith Nation.

Even though the Pack has made it back to Kunsan AB, there is still no letting up for the 8th LRS.

The unit that revels in working behind the scenes will support the 8th FW’s two fighter squadrons during multiple exercises in the Spring. All while its Airmen ensure daily mission operations run seamlessly at home.

“There always is so much going on because Kunsan is perfectly located to support operations all over the Peninsula and all over the Pacific,” said Fagan. “And Wraith Nation is here to always make sure the Wolf Pack is ready to go anywhere if called upon and ready to receive follow-on forces if need be.”