WARRIOR BASE, South Korea (March 19, 2013) -- The senior enlisted adviser of the U.S. Pacific Command visited American military personnel participating Exercise Key Resolve in South Korea.

Navy Command Master Chief Mark Rudes, Pacific Command's top enlisted adviser, thanked U.S. troops for their commitment to defending freedom on the Korean Peninsula and maintaining stability in Northeast Asia.

The command master chief was accompanied on his visit by U.S. Forces Korea Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony W. Mahoney and Republic of Korea Army, or ROK, Ground Component Command Command Sgt. Maj. Sung Chang-woo.

Rudes said his visit enabled him to witness firsthand the cohesion of the ROK-U.S. Alliance during one of its annual exercises.

"It's a chance to get out and see our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines serving over here," said Rudes, a salty U.S. Navy command master chief who has served on six submarines, two surface ships and an aircraft carrier. "I get a chance to see that immersion of our U.S. forces with our Korean counterparts."

Rudes visited Eighth Army's mobile command post here, March 19, where the U.S. Army's top combat formation in Korea is training as a combined and joint task force headquarters.

The command master chief also toured the Joint Security Area, the only place inside the 2 1/2-mile-wide by 155-mile-long Korean Demilitarized Zone where American and South Korean troops stand face-to-face with North Korean soldiers on a daily basis.

Rudes thanked the United Nations Command Security Battalion Soldiers who often stand watch an arm's length away from North Korea.

The triple warfare qualified command master chief is the enlisted leader of the American combatant command that covers more than half of the earth's surface and more than half of its population.

Out of the 52 percent of the globe that U.S. Pacific Command covers, Rudes said the readiness of U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula is a top priority.

"I think the readiness here is at a very high state. Everybody understands the mission," said Rudes. "The exercise going on is kind of proof to that."

Exercise Key Resolve is an annual computer simulation exercise held in South Korea every year. It occurs around the same time as Exercise Foal Eagle, a combined and joint field training exercise.

The command master chief said U.S. troops should always uphold the highest standards and represent their nation with pride overseas.

"Your conduct in and out of uniform, on and off base, is extremely important. You've got to remember that and keep yourself in check at all times," said Rudes. "Keep yourself physically fit, mentally sound and constantly hone your skills and make yourself the very best Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine you can be."

"Remember how important you are to our mission," said Rudes. "Every single Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine leads directly to our ability to complete our mission."

Page last updated Tue March 19th, 2013 at 00:00