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8th FW refuelers showcase Wolf Pack 5th generation integration capabilities

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Samuel Earick
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the Wolf Pack recently supported F-35A Lightning II's during a combined training exercise Feb. 22-23.

During the training, which was hosted by 7th Air Force, 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel management specialists and Marines currently embedded with the squadron from the Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, assisted with the refueling of several F-35s as they landed at Kunsan AB and were preparing to relaunch.

The visiting fifth-generation fighter aircraft, assigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron at Hill AFB and currently forward deployed to Kadena AB, participated in several training scenarios focused on defensive counterair maneuvers. Alongside their counterparts in the Republic of Korea Air Force, the F-35 pilots strengthened their combined tactics, techniques, and procedures while bolstering interoperability between their units.

The Wolf Pack’s fuels management specialists ensured the F-35s remained fully serviced and capable of conducting training across the Korean Peninsula while putting their follow-on forces mission capabilities to the test all while conducting airfield familiarization and mission integration training with MWSS-172 Marines.

“This was my first time working with the F-35s but we approached it the same way we do the F-16s we have here at Kunsan,” said Senior Airman Andre Franklin, 8th LRS fuels distribution technician. “Over those two days, we could support the visiting aircraft without missing a beat.”

For the U.S. Marines, training with the 8th LRS served as their first opportunity to get their hands dirty and help fuel aircraft.

“Back at Kadena AB, we don't get the chance to fuel aircraft so being here and able to work up close and personal with the aircraft is a great opportunity,” said Marine Lance Cpl. Nathan Jones, MWSS-172 motor transportation operator. “The thing that I'm looking forward to the most is the defueling operations because it is something I haven't done before.”

The ability to support and project follow-on forces at Kunsan AB enables aircraft and joint services to forward deploy to the Korean Peninsula and participate in training events with ROK Allies. Conducting these operations builds upon the Ironclad Alliance of the U.S. and ROK, underpinning the shared priority of deterring threats to regional stability.