Phantom Warriors transition from Key Resolve to Unified Endeavor

By Maj. Jay Adams, III Corps and Fort Hood PAOMarch 27, 2009

Phantom Warriors transition from Key Resolve to Unified Endeavor
Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, Fort Hood and III Corps commander, leads Gen. Kim Tae-Young, chairman of the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Sang Eui Lee, commanding general of the 3rd Republic of Korea Army, around the III Corps Tactical Comm... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

A,AFORT HOOD, Texas (March 27, 2009) -- The III Corps Headquarters concluded Key Resolve, a joint command post exercise with the 3rd Republic of Korea Army at Yongin, South Korea Saturday and will immediately begin transitioning into another command post exercise, Unified Endeavor, Friday at Fort Hood.

Both exercises are critical training events for the command as it prepares for possible deployment.

Key Resolve demonstrated the United States commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and provided the III Corps staff an opportunity to work closely with the ROK Army.

The scenario was built around major, high-intensity combat operations and had the Phantom Corps operating under the direction of the 3rd ROK Army (TROKA) while notionally commanding and controlling a combination of U.S. and ROK forces.

Colonel William Rabena, Chief of the III Corps Joint Fires Cell, said, "Korea (and hence KR) is one of the last frontiers where we get to re-acquaint ourselves, and hone, high-intensity conflict tactics, techniques and procedures."

The exercise provided the Corps, which has twice served in Iraq as the Multinational Corps-Iraq Headquarters, an opportunity to test its staff on major combat operations instead of the counter-insurgency fight it experienced in Iraq.

"Southwest Asia has driven us to different skill sets," Rabena said. "However, those assigned to Korea are very practiced in how to mass and shape battlefields with fires.

"As a staff, we took on an expeditionary mind-set. Every theater does things differently and this allowed the Joint Fires Cell to adapt to TROKA Fires, the Battlefield Coordination Detachment (BCD) and Korean Air Operations Center in order to integrate lethal and non-lethal fires into the III Corps battle space by using a different theater's procedures.

During the exercise, Lt. Gen Rick Lynch, Commanding General of III Corps and Fort Hood, emphasized the critical role of communications during war and command post exercises noting, "If you are not talking, you are just camping."

Key Resolve and Unified Endeavor provide critical tests of the Corps' communication nodes.

"During this exercise, the G6 provided the III Corps commanding general with all the communications assets he would require during a real-world deployment - SIPRNET, NIPRNET, and Coalition connectivity as well as secure VTC and Voice over IP (VOIP)," said Col Gerald Daniels, the III Corps G6. "This is the first time the Corps deployed its Command Post Command and Control communications Large Scale Shelter (LSS). As a result, we captured the bandwidth requirements needed to support a Corps TAC."

"Because of joint collective hard work and ingenuity between all signal elements in Korea, the CG was able to successfully command and control his forces as well as communicate with his higher headquarters, Daniels said."

Unified Endeavour will see the Corps shift focus back to COIN operations as the staff sets up to act as the higher headquarters for the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Infantry Division, which is training for an Iraqi Freedom deployment.

While the locations and scenarios of Key Resolve and Unified Endeavor are different, the purpose of both exercises is essentially the same. Command post exercises provide opportunities to train and test staffs on their ability to analyze, plan, communicate, and execute their war time functions. The Corps staff expect to continue their road to war with a series of CPX's throughout the summer and fall.