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7 AF Force Protection division strengthens Fight Tonight readiness with USAF-ROKAF knowledge exchange

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Kenneth W. Norman
  • 7th Air Force, Public Affairs

In late 2022, The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF), Air Force Operations Command (AFOC) Force Protection Branch reached out to Lt. Col. Winell S. de Mesa, 7th Air Force, force protection division chief and Senior Master Sgt. William V. DeSilva, 7th Air Force, force protection division superintendent, and requested a knowledge exchange about the United States Air Force (USAF) Security Forces base defense and force protection robot dog capabilities. 

The ROKAF Military Police Agency Headquarters is currently seeking innovations to enhance their defense and detection capabilities at their air bases.  To assist with this, de Mesa and DeSilva coordinated with the 142nd Security Forces Squadron of the Oregon Air National Guard for information. They then scheduled a vendor of robot dog technology to exchange operating instructions and conduct a demonstration for the ROKAF Military Police Agency Headquarters leadership in Daejon, Republic of Korea.

“The knowledge exchange event was about the capabilities that robot dogs offer,” said de Mesa. “The ROKAF wanted to learn about USAF training, tactics, and procedures when it comes to robot dog use, and they wanted to see a demonstration of the technology … Robot dog technology offers a stronger base defense posture. It is also a good deterrent and depending on how it’s used, it can also offer manpower benefits.”

Knowledge exchanges like this were temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 complications. This knowledge exchange is a first step in starting to rebuild the relationships between USAF and ROKAF force protection members, which is important because this helps with re-writing plans that have become outdated.

“These kind of knowledge exchanges offer an opportunity to put faces-to-names and enhances the relationship between the ROKAF and USAF,” said de Mesa. “The defense plans are outdated and hopefully this will start the dialogue on a way forward to get the plans updated.”

De Mesa and DeSilva mentioned that this knowledge exchange is the first to take place since the onset of COVID-19; they plan on having more of these events in the future, which helps to bolster the U.S.-ROK alliance and maintain the Fight Tonight readiness here in the ROK.