KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --
The sound of bugle calls echoed throughout the Wolf Pack as combat Airmen reacted, survived and operated in a simulated combat zone to validate and enhance Kunsan's mission to defend the base and take the fight north during Exercise Beverly Midnight 15-4 July 13 through 17 here.
Quarterly operational readiness exercises enhance strategic capabilities of the Air Force by evaluating and practicing counterattack tactics, enemy attacks and combat airpower in a simulated chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive environment.
"The purpose of OREs is to make sure we are ready to take the fight north if we are ever required to do so," said Maj. Roberto Flammia, 8th Fighter Wing inspector general. "Although Kunsan is a small base of 2,700 people, the Wolf Pack has the representation of every single career field that requires everyone to exercise simultaneously. Kunsan must set the standard for exercises across the Air Force because realism is very high due to the proximity to the threat."
Quarterly exercises at the Wolf Pack charge Airmen with adapting to not only constant personnel rotations, but austere environmental changes throughout the year.
"Exercising in July is unique given the extreme temperatures and the impact it has on the members' readiness," said Capt. Jena Campbell, 8th Medical Support Squadron family health clinic flight commander. "We have a lot of Airmen across the base [who] work outside in any given capacity, especially during exercises, including post attack reconnaissance teams, bioenvironmental, security forces, fire department and maintenance."
Whether Wolf Pack Airmen operate indoors or out, none were immune to additional stressors, including extreme temperatures, 24-hour operations, fatigue and wearing mission oriented protective posture gear during the majority of the five-day exercise.
"With MOPP gear on, Airmen are faced with wearing 20 pounds of equipment and more," Campbell said. "The body becomes more physically stressed from being in the heat and from having the equipment on for 12 hours at a time and more. It is imperative Airmen take care of their body during exercises by hydrating properly, getting enough rest and eating nutritiously, so that they can make it through this exercise without decreasing the manpower and ultimately staying in the fight."
Executing the mission at Kunsan during quarterly exercises increases the combat capability of the Wolf Pack and improves tactical skills with every exercise.
"Kunsan exercises like nobody else exercises," said Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Simpson, 8th FW command chief. "We perform more realistically than any other installation in the Air Force. By validating our mission sets and figuring out how well we can do them, we find ways to do them even better. Over the years, I've seen the base change significantly -- both in the infrastructure and the personnel -- but one thing that never changes is the attitude of the Wolf Pack when it comes to exercises: they always give 110 percent."