POHANG, South Korea -- On a bright and windy day, a gray U.S. Army landing craft utility ship loaded with tactical vehicles and other mission equipment to support exercise Operation Pacific Reach 2017 slowly made its way to the Trident Pier causeway here while soldiers and Marines patiently waited.
When the ship reached its mooring, service members grabbed lines to secure and position it and then began unloading and transporting the equipment to the marshaling yard, a holding area where the equipment would be shipped to front-line forces.
South Korean service members and U.S. personnel from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps came together April 10 through 21 to test combined joint logistics over-the-shore capabilities, as well as their ability to employ rail, inland waterways and air terminal supply point capabilities during combined joint and multi-domain training focused on readiness.
"This exercise showed us how to communicate with our counterparts on and off sea and shore," said Army Staff Sgt. Tony Burnette, a watercraft operator assigned to 331st Transportation Company. "Working with the [South Koreans] and the U.S. Navy, Marines and Air Force allies was a great experience. We learned how to move tactical vehicles as a team from the ship, as the other team collected pipelines from the sea to shore to receive water and fuel."
GETTING FUEL, WATER TO TRANSPORTATION HUBS
The exercise could not be accomplished without the efforts of the soldiers and Marines operating the Inland Petroleum Distribution System. The Army, working alongside the Marines Corps, maintained the IPDS capability to transport fuel and water from the sea to major logistical transportation hubs.
During the two-week exercise, units worked together in sustained winds and waves to construct the modular sections of the Trident Pier causeway while preparing to offload the heavy equipment on Dogu Beach.
Transporting equipment on- and off-shore was only one piece of the exercise. South Korean aircraft also transported equipment to locations where it was needed.
"Operation Pacific Reach has offered us a unique opportunity to [enhance] our interoperability between our [South Korean] and joint partners," said Army Col. Christopher Dexter, commander of Material Support Command Korea. "Every day, we work together, side by side, and have the opportunity to collaborate, cooperate and communicate with our [South Korean] counterparts."
The exercise focused on logistical operations from the air, sea and shore to transport mission equipment across the Korean Peninsula using utility and mechanized landing craft, logistics support vessels and causeway ferries. The crafts transported and offloaded nearly 2,000 cargo containers during the operation.
"Each training event had a unique tactical scenario derived from our mission-essential task list, aimed at improving readiness and increasing interoperability," said Army Lt. Col. Natasha Jones, commander of the 10th Transportation Battalion.
"I am extremely proud and confident in the demonstrated ability of the [South Korean] and U.S. forces to conduct complex operations efficiently and safely side by side and sustaining the capabilities, which strengthen the [South Korean-U.S.] alliance."