By Sgt. Uriah WalkerApril 14, 2017
DAEGU, South Korea - Taking care of deployed service members or conducting humanitarian aide requires a finely tuned supply and logistics system. It takes practice to reliably deliver support to those in need with food, water, medical supplies, fuel and other essential items. Soldiers from 2nd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade teamed up with their Republic of Korea Army counterparts during exercise Operation Pacific Reach '17 to sharpen those skills during a combined distribution exercise near Pohang, April 10-21.
U.S. and ROK-A soldiers combined their efforts during exOPR17 to establish an Area Distribution Center used to deliver necessities such as food, fuel and ammunition to other units participating in the exercise. In addition to moving supplies, the ADC also supported its own maintenance yard, dining facility and life support area.
"Through this Combined Coordination Logistics Element exercise we were able to validate the interoperability between the ROK and U.S. assets," said Col. Lee, Sung Kyun, ROK 2nd Logistics Support Command director of transportation and ordnance. "We were not only able to strengthen our alliance but also develop large scale mission continuity support capabilities."
The ADC is a central area where U.S. and ROK Army combat units logistics function (supply, maintenance, transportation, ordnance) is combined to provide support. Therefore, in this exercise, the mission capability is enhanced through combined joint distribution of materiel and equipment including ordnance and fuel.
"Every function here is combine with our ROK counterparts," said Lt. Col. Bobby Bryant, 2ID SBDE deputy commanding officer. "We have a combined ammunition, general supply, fuel and maintenance sections as well as transportation convoy operations. This whole operation strengthens our U.S. ROK alliance and shows our commitment to our allies."
During the first four days of exOPR17 the ADC successfully, and without incident, completed more than 20 supply convoys to various units across the training area to enable commanders to continue dynamic operations. In order to keep those trucks rolling the 61st Maintenance Company teamed with ROK-A 2nd Logistics Support Command mechanics.
"A lot of our equipment was compatible with theirs so we really didn't have any issues as far as needing special tools," said Sgt. Drew Bozone, 61st Maint. Co. "It was a different experience working with their equipment, their engines, because it was much different than what I'm used to working with. We have been learning from each other, picking up better maintenance practices along the way. They have actually begun putting together a contact truck similar to what we have so they have their own mobile shop to work with."
The consensus among several 2ID SBDE soldiers was that of excitement for this training opportunity. Even through the unpredictable spring weather there was a strong desire for more combined training to further strengthen the U.S. ROK alliance.
"It's been a great experience working with them [ROK Army]," continued Bozone. "I've learned a lot. I wish we could do this more often."
ExOPR17, scheduled for April 10-21 this year, is a bi-annual training exercise conducted to validate combined joint logistical assets, strengthen alliances and provide proof of concept in an ever-evolving global climate.