OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea -- So far, the Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning's Pacific Rim tour has taken him through four countries, two states, and one U.S. territory.
On Tuesday, Aug. 2, Secretary Fanning stopped at Osan Air Base, South Korea to visit the only forward stationed Air Defense Artillery Brigade in the U.S. Army. There, he executed a reload drill on a Patriot launching station, conducted air battle management inside an engagement control station, and smiled for a group photo, all before taking questions from local media.
"It's great to see the Soldiers out here," said Fanning. "Many people think of the Pacific as being an Air Force or Navy domain, but we have 100,000 Soldiers and Army Civilians in this region. They are all motivated, and they are very excited about the mission they are part of."
One of the motivated and excited Soldiers is Spc. Yeon Lee. A chaplain assistant assigned to 35th ADA Brigade, who served as the translator between Fanning and South Korean media outlet, Yonhap News.
"It was a great opportunity, and I felt honored to serve as the translator for the Secretary of the Army," said Lee. "Although I was a bit nervous at first, it was a great experience, and it was a moment I will never forget."
Prior to joining the Army, Lee served as a Korean language instructor at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina from 2012 to 2014.
The Army's top official presented a handful of high performing Soldiers with coins and took a moment to snap a quick "selfie" with a beaming Soldier, clrearly enjoying his time interacting with them; they reciprocated in kind.
Although Fanning's visit was brief stop amid his busy Pacific region tour, the Soldiers of 35th ADA Brigade appreciated the opportunity to share all the great things the Dragon Brigade is doing in the Republic of Korea.