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Backbone of the Wolf Pack

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jesenia Landaverde
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Since 1950, Kunsan Air Base has been home to U.S. Army and Air Force members, assets, and development. Over the course of the last 70 years, units have been renamed, building have been demolished and uniforms retired; however, the infrastructure and equipment needs of military organizations such as the ones housed within Kunsan, have never ceased.
Behind the scenes of every purchase or project, before the foundation to buildings on Kunsan Air Base are laid, or any equipment is taken off the shelves, contracting officers are skillfully negotiating and securing the sales of everything that makes the Wolf Pack successful.
Among Kunsan’s contracting office, the 411th Contracting Support Brigade is Mr. Kilchae Song a hard-working education-driven Gunsan native who takes pride in being the sole Korean National Contracting Officer, and maintaining continuity through the rapidly changing one-year tour installation.
“My parents weren’t educated,” Song said. “They supported me and taught me about the power of knowledge, experience and education. They emphasized going to college and getting a good degree.”
Song earned his Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in accounting through the Korean National University System. Following his graduation, he searched for a job with Samsung in Seoul, South Korea.
“I didn’t like the big city and I missed my parents, so I didn’t stay in Seoul; once a country boy, always a country boy,” Song said. “I was looking for a stable job which would give me a good work-life balance, and Kunsan Air Base was a good option for me.”
Song knew English through his military service, serving as part of the Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA) soldier program for two and a half years.
“I served my time in Camp Casey, and I really enjoyed my time there and working with American military soldiers,” Song said. “I wanted to keep practicing my English language skills, and my service influenced me to work for the military again.”
Song started working at Kunsan in 1998 under the 8th Comptroller Squadron as an accountant and financial auditor. In 2005, he was selected as United States Forces Korea employee of the year, and in 2010, he moved to the 411th Contracting Support Brigade as its sole Korean Contracting Officer.
“I learn something new about my job every day, by continuously reading through manuals and books to refresh my knowledge and maintain current on information,” Song said. “Education and experience will stay with you in your mind and body. I always tell people my motto: teach and execute. We teach and learn from each other to move forward and support the mission.”
During his employment at Kunsan, Song went back to school and earned his Masters of Computer Science. His passion for learning and working shines through his commitment to the Wolf Pack. Song plans to work in the contracting office for 20 more years.
“A local country guy like me loves the small community Kunsan provides,” Song said “I appreciate my team even in this short-tour. The community and friendships are the rewards from working on this base. I’ve had long-lasting friendships with coworkers and other Korean Nationals like me.”
Song is one of approximately 400 Korean Nationals who work on Kunsan AB.
“He is very knowledgeable in the work field and outside as well,” said Mr. Myong Ku So, 8th Comptroller Squadron Budget Analyst and Song’s friend. “The professional attitude he carries inspires me to do better in my job. He works hard to communicate and educate Airmen and Soldiers who might need assistance. He’s a team player and values work relationships. With his knowledge and efforts, we never fail to execute our budget and unfunded requirements.”
Every member of the Wolf Pack, especially the civilian employees like Song, play a critical role in providing continuity in a short tour environment to support U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and the Department of Defense missions. As someone who helps make sure every dollar Kunsan spends goes towards building up the base and its people, Song is fundamentally one of the backbones of the Wolf Pack.