Korean Nationals from Osan participate in Red Flag Alaska 23-2

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Trevor Gordnier
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

IELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- The 51st Munitions Squadron (MUNS) is an integral part of the 51st Fighter Wing and accompany their fighter squadrons wherever they go. Red Flag Alaska 23-2 (RF-A 23-2) is no exception.

The storage, maintenance and distribution of munitions used by aircraft and ground units are a large part of the 51st MUNS mission that allow large-scale training events like RF-A 23-2 to run smoothly and effectively. Though the mission has remained the same, the 51st MUNS invited a few guests that made this iteration of RF-A unique.

Chin U. Kim is a Korean National who works as a civilian munitions technician? for the 51st MUNS and was one of three chosen to go to a temporary duty location (TDY) to assist with RF-A 23-2. This was one of the first times 51st Munition Squadron civilians have been sent TDY.

“I would have never even fathomed coming to Alaska,” said Kim, “I thought this place would be a cold tundra!”

Adjusting to the new location presented new challenges for the team.

“At Osan we typically work indoors, however, here we have to work outside,” he added. “This is the first time we are doing this type of work outside.”

“I am thankful for the opportunity to travel and assist with the 51st munitions mission - I would love to do this again,” he said.

Despite the need for some initial adjustments, Kim said his team was able to overcome the new challenges. Staff Sgt. Darius Staples, 51st MUNS munitions crew chief, expressed his appreciation for the team being able to TDY to Alaska.

“I think the biggest take away from this TDY is continuing the partnership,” said Staples, “making sure our Korean National partners feel included and invested in the mission.”

Kim says he’s thankful for the opportunity to travel and assist with the mission and would like to be considered for future TDY’s.