7th AF leadership meets with ROK Minister of National Defense for first USAF visit

  • Published
  • By Staff Reports
  • 7th Air Force Public Affairs

Seventh Air Force leadership met with the Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Won-sik Shin today during a visit to the 607th Air Operations Center here to inspect the combined military readiness posture and missile defense operations system.

Upon his arrival at the AOC, the Minister of Defense was greeted by U.S. Lt. Gen. Scott L. Pleus, 7th Air Force commander, and U.S. Chief Master Sgt. Jeremy Ross, 7th AF command chief, before beginning a tour of the center led by ROK Lt. Gen. Hyoung Soo Kim, commander of the ROK Air Force Operations Command.

During his visit, Shin met with combined leadership from 7th Air Force, AFOC, and the 607th AOC, receiving briefings on combined ROK-U.S. air operations and current readiness efforts.

“It was our honor to meet Minister Shin here at the 607th AOC, where our combined defense mission continues daily with our Republic of Korea Air Force counterparts,” said Pleus. “The 7th Air Force’s integration with ROKAF across all levels of operations is a crucial part of our ability to employ airpower to deter aggression and help maintain the Armistice. The strong relationship we have with the Air Force Operations Command is a testament to our ironclad commitment to the ROK-U.S. Alliance and defense of the peninsula, which I am proud to be able to showcase today.”

The event marked Shin’s first visit to a U.S. Air Force location on the Korean peninsula since he took office Oct. 7, following his nomination by ROK President Yoon Suk Yeol Sept. 13.

While being new to the defense minister role, Shin has an extensive history with military operations as a retired lieutenant general in the ROK Army, where he concluded his service as the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Chief Directorate of Operations in 2015, and then the JCS vice chairman, before retiring in 2016.