Exercise leaves Wolf Pack stocked, loaded
Airmen at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea have completed an annual resupply exercise that has increased the 8th Fighter Wing’s inventory of newer munitions, including high-tech, precision-guided “smart bombs.”
Known as Turbo Cads, the exercise is conducted annually and sees U.S. military units worldwide rid their weapons inventories of older munitions — bombs, artillery shells, weapons components — and restock with newer munitions.
“Basically it’s an upgrade to newer munitions,” said Capt. Donald Newton, munitions production officer-in-charge at the 8th Fighter Wing’s 8th Maintenance Squadron. The wing is known as the Wolf Pack.
For the Wolf Pack, this year’s Turbo Cads, which began in early May and ended last week, brought in 200 20-foot steel shipping containers of new munitions valued at $144 million. They were trucked in from the Army’s Kimhae ammunition pier.
The Wolf Pack shipped out 133 containers with $33.5 million in older munitions, so “we’re more full now than we were before,” Newton said.
Among items the Wolf Pack shipped out of South Korea were old kits for attaching fins to bombs, said Newton.
“We have some Vietnam-era weaponry out here, so that kind of stuff” was shipped, he said. “We got rid of some of our unguided components and got more components to build guided weapons.”
Included in the incoming shipment were kits that allow airmen “to turn a dumb bomb into a JDAM,” Newton said.
The state-of-the-art JDAM, or Joint Direct Attack Munition, relies on global-positioning satellites to pinpoint its target, which it can home in on targets even at night or in bad weather.
The Wolf Pack put 62 airmen on the job of getting the munitions trucked in or out of the base, Newton said. Of those, 59 were from the Wolf Pack and three were from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., at Kunsan for training.
The JDAM kits and other munitions received increase the Wolf Pack’s warfighting power, Newton said.
“It’s important because it increases our capabilities,” he said. “It allows us to fight ‘the war’ better. By having a better capability to use guided munitions allows us better targeting, reduced collateral damage and allows us to do more damage to the stuff we’re aiming at. So basically, it makes us leaner, meaner, far more precise.”