7th Air Force coordinates, directs base defense training
By Staff Reports, 7th Air Force Public Affairs
/ Published March 20, 2013
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.