My Recent Visits to Osan

This week I had the honor of accompanying Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se on his visit to Osan Air Force Base.  It was a very distinguished group that day with General Scaparrotti, Lt. General O’Shaughnessy and Brigadier General Mack also representing the U.S.  On the Korean side, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Kyung-soo, Director General Moon Seung-hyun and Han Hye-jin, MOFA Deputy Spokesperson attended.  Lt. General Park and Major General Hwang represented the Korean military.  

A visit to Osan Air Force Base

Foreign Minister Yun, the guest of honor, received a tour of the military installations.  He, General Scaparrotti, and I were also part of a Town Hall meeting with some of the American and Korean airmen where they were able to ask us their questions.  We all expressed our deep appreciation for the important work these airmen do on a daily basis to help provide security on the Korean peninsula.

It is truly a pleasure and honor to work with Foreign Minister Yun.  This past weekend I also got to know him a little better by having dinner at his home with him and his wife.  It was a fun and interesting evening and I was able to get many interesting insights into what Foreign Minister Yun’s job entails on a day-to-day basis.  

With Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se at Osan

At the end of last year, on December 19, I also visited Osan to attend the 7th Air Force Change of Command at Osan Air Force Base.  General O’Shaughnessy was taking the reins of command over from General Jouas.  I was reminded while there of how important the 7th Air Force is, and the critical role it serves in the defense of Korea.  They represent important interoperability between our air power and air defense and that of our Republic of Korea partners.

The three-star General in command of the 7th Air Force is dual-hatted as the commander of Air Component Command under Combined Forces Command.  He has a say in important military issues.  It is a huge responsibility, but General Jouas was outstanding in this critical role.  General Jouas represents the very best of the United States military: he is an outstanding leader, a tremendous operational pilot, a visionary strategic thinker, and an excellent diplomat advancing the U.S-ROK alliance.  On behalf of all the men and women at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul we wish General Jouas and his wife Marion all the best in their next adventure and can’t wait to have them visit again soon to see all of the friends they have made over the last three years.    

Welcome to Korea, General O’Shaughnessy!

General O’Shaughnessy is well prepared for this position, having been the Director of Operations at U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) and the Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs for Asia at the Pentagon. He is a decorated veteran and an F-16 pilot, so he understands the challenges that the troops face on a daily basis.

General O’Shaughnessy and I are good friends and so are our wives, Robyn and Donna.  General O’Shaughnessy and I used to work at the Pentagon together.  His son Sam is good friends with Grigsby.  General O’Shaughnessy even dog sat for Robyn and me when we went away.  Grigsby loved his weekends at their house!

I wish both of the Generals continued success in their new positions, and I am delighted to have such an esteemed colleague in this vital role here in Korea.

And, Grigsby sends a special “welcome to Korea” to his good friend Sam O’Shaughnessy!

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