HomeNewsFeaturesDisplay

7th Air Force coordinates, directs base defense training

Tech. Sgt. Raymond Cantrell (left), 51st Security Forces Squadron defender, discusses plan of battle with the Republic of Korea Army forces during a ROK Army exercise near Osan Air Base March 15, 2013. Prepositioning of friendly forces to counteract the enemy is key in air base defense operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alexis Siekert)

Tech. Sgt. Raymond Cantrell (left), 51st Security Forces Squadron defender, discusses plan of battle with the Republic of Korea Army forces during a ROK Army exercise near Osan Air Base March 15, 2013. Prepositioning of friendly forces to counteract the enemy is key in air base defense operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alexis Siekert)

Airman 1st Class Leon Simpson, 51st Security Forces Squadron defender, conducts close surveillance of possible enemy movement during an outside-the-wire joint patrol during a Republic of Korea Army exercise near Osan Air Base March 15, 2013.  The exercise was in conjunction with Key Resolve and is one of the few times each year when the ROK Army fully mobilizes their Homeland Defense Forces.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alexis Siekert)

Airman 1st Class Leon Simpson, 51st Security Forces Squadron defender, conducts close surveillance of possible enemy movement during an outside-the-wire joint patrol during a Republic of Korea Army exercise near Osan Air Base March 15, 2013. The exercise was in conjunction with Key Resolve and is one of the few times each year when the ROK Army fully mobilizes their Homeland Defense Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alexis Siekert)

U.S. Air Force Air National Guard Master Sgt. Thomas Rodgers, 7th Air Force Air Component Command force protection cell NCO, speaks with Republic of Korea Air Force Staff Sgt. Lee, Seung Hun, 7th Air Force ACC interpreter, during Exercise Key Resolve on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, March 15, 2013. Although this is the first year that the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff has taken the lead to plan and execute KR, the U.S. will conduct the air campaign with our ROK counterparts. This teamwork will improve ROK command and control capabilities and establish a basis for the transfer of operational control to the ROK JCS in 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Hailey R. Davis)

U.S. Air Force Air National Guard Master Sgt. Thomas Rodgers, 7th Air Force Air Component Command force protection cell NCO, speaks with Republic of Korea Air Force Staff Sgt. Lee, Seung Hun, 7th Air Force ACC interpreter, during Exercise Key Resolve on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, March 15, 2013. Although this is the first year that the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff has taken the lead to plan and execute KR, the U.S. will conduct the air campaign with our ROK counterparts. This teamwork will improve ROK command and control capabilities and establish a basis for the transfer of operational control to the ROK JCS in 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Hailey R. Davis)

U.S. Air Force Air National Guard Master Sgt. Edward Stefik, 7th Air Force Air Component Command force protection cell NCO, reviews the operations status with Republic of Korea Air Force Capt. Choi, Jin Mok, 7th Air Force ACC force protection cell director of intelligence, during Exercise Key Resolve on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, March 15, 2013. The United Nations Command notified the North Korean military Feb. 21 of the exercise dates and that Key Resolve is an annual ROK-U.S. combined exercise that is not related to current events on the Korean Peninsula. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Hailey R. Davis)

U.S. Air Force Air National Guard Master Sgt. Edward Stefik, 7th Air Force Air Component Command force protection cell NCO, reviews the operations status with Republic of Korea Air Force Capt. Choi, Jin Mok, 7th Air Force ACC force protection cell director of intelligence, during Exercise Key Resolve on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, March 15, 2013. The United Nations Command notified the North Korean military Feb. 21 of the exercise dates and that Key Resolve is an annual ROK-U.S. combined exercise that is not related to current events on the Korean Peninsula. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Hailey R. Davis)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Ensuring the defense of the peninsula is the top priority for the Republic of Korea and U.S. Alliance, and the force protection cell at the 7th Air Force Air Component Command supports that priority by providing situational awareness to defenders throughout South Korea during Exercise Key Resolve.

Key Resolve is an annual combined and joint command post exercise that allows personnel to hone the skills necessary to defend the Republic of Korea by improving the ROK-U.S. combined forces' operational capabilities, coordinating and executing the deployment of U.S. reinforcements, and maintaining ROK military combat capabilities.

"During Key Resolve, we primarily make sure situational awareness of what's going on at the operational level is pushed down to our tactical units," said Lt. Col. Thomas Morea, 7th Air Force ACC resources and planning director.

The FPC contributes an operational perspective of what enemy forces might be doing and offers ways security forces personnel can defend against them during contingencies.

Tactical units use this information to identify enemy tactics, techniques and procedures, which helps them plan ways to defend the base.

"When we're not in hostilities, we maintain awareness across the main operating bases to ensure that we are providing the right training, familiarization, and integration of our base defense forces at both our main operating bases, and any collocating bases that we'd be operating in the future," Morea said.

He added that the FPC is also in charge of making sure the right equipment and amount of personnel head to the right places during future operations. They then integrate U.S. capabilities with Republic of Korea counterparts operating from those ACC bases.

ROK and U.S. forces demonstrated their ability to cooperatively carry out base defense March 14 during a ROK Army-led exercise.

The ROKA-conducted exercise in support of Key Resolve included approximately 3,000 ROKA Soldiers and U.S. Air Force Security Forces Defenders, and is one of only a few times each year when the ROKA fully mobilizes its Homeland Defense Forces.

The drills consisted of U.S. Airmen partnering with ROKA Soldiers in combined patrols around the installation to interdict opposition forces.

It is important for Osan Defenders to train with the ROKA on a regular basis to maintain readiness, and this training allowed both partners an opportunity to realistically practice base defense, Morea said.

"The ROK counterparts have a huge responsibility in helping defend our air bases," Morea said. "When we integrate the U.S. and ROK leadership, we both understand the situation simultaneously. We can react and see what's going on, understand the situation and be able to act right away."

Training exercises like Key Resolve are carried out in the spirit of the 1953 ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty, and highlight the longstanding partnership and enduring friendship between the United Nations Command sending state nations, help ensure peace and security on the peninsula and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the region.