Korean Service Corps personnel perfect their skills during AWT
May 29, 2014
DAEGU GARRISON - The Korean Service Corps (KSC) conducted its annual Army Warrior Training (AWT) exercise May 12-13 behind the Army Community Service facility on Camp Henry. Divided into two groups, nearly 130 KSC employees were involved in the intense training that involved being evaluated on tasks outlined in the Soldier's Manual of Common Tasks (STP 21-24-SMCT). The purpose of the annual event was to test the readiness of the KSC if and when called on to help the United States Forces Korea during contingency.
According to Yun, Song Hwan, Commander of the 32nd KSC Company, it is required for KSC members to get 40 hours of training a year, and if they pass the tests, these efforts throughout the year will pay off. Passing the test means they are qualified as KCS personnel who have an appropriate skill. Also, the result of this AWT will be reflected in the next AWT through AAR (After Action Reviews).
"We are MEC (Mission Essential Civilian), who make provisions for wartime," yun said. "We have to support Eighth United States Army (EUSA), USFK and U.S. Army Garrison. This training is an actual practice, since it must be helpful to carry out our missions on war preparedness."
Adding to the training scenario, four stations were set up and included, Field First Aid, Unit CBRN defense, weapons familiarization and map reading, for a total of 21 tasks. Prior to the start of the testing, a walk-through of the training site, and a thorough briefing regarding AWT procedures, was given by the KSC commander to U.S. Army Garrison Daegu Commander Col. Jim M. Bradford, and Joseph Wendl, USAG Daegu DPW director, present to observe and encourage the training.
"Securing the real world mission itself is fantastic," said Bradford. "They are doing a good job. They are focusing on the standard and then training to that standard. So whether they are KSC, ROK or U.S., this type of training is a great opportunity."
With the training well under way, just how serious the participants were could be seen on their faces during their testing performance.
"Defending myself is the first step toward saving my comrade and even standing by my company," said Pak, Song Hak, hip pocket instructor, at Unit CBRN Defense station. There, trainees were tested on the preparation for CBRN attack. On this test, they had to protect themselves and materiel from becoming damaged and contaminated.
"For me, CBRN training is difficult" a KSC member being tested, Lee, Hae Kwang said. "Especially, having the MOPP gear on is a little complicated, and it is so hard to breathe while wearing the protective mask." Nevertheless, he persevered.
The Korean Service Corps is paramilitary, and was founded in 1950 during the Korean War. Comprised of mobilized Korean citizens, KSC supported United States and United Nations Forces at the front line of war. It transported supplies, moved casualties from the battlefield and went into construction sites. Since then, it has performed various peacetime missions on Garrisons throghout the peninsula. Today, it still exists as paramilitary formation, while supporting the daily life of the U.S Army. For instance, they provide transportation services, maintain facilities and gear. However, the primary mission of KSC is to support combat and combat service for U.S Forces in Korea.
The KSC annual training has continuously resulted in providing dependable services in every field. Their commitment to serve is evidenced by the efforts they put forth both during the AWT, as well as their day-to-day areas of responsibility.
"I have been doing this training for seven years, so I've gotten familiar with many of the activities," Cho, Pong Kun said. "AWT is meaningful in terms of having us keep skilled at those tasks."