By 1st Lt. Ellen C Brabo (19th ESC)June 21, 2017
DAJEAON, South Korea -- Senior logistics leaders from across the Korean Peninsula, members of the Republic of Korea Transportation Command and KORAIL representatives gathered for the 5th Combined Movement Control Tactical Discussion at the KORAIL headquarters, June 20. Discussions focused on strategic and tactical movement control and the organizations involved in the coordination and execution of movement during contingency operations.
"I think the topics that will be covered today are very important but perhaps more important are the relationships that will be strengthened and reinforced by virtue of us all coming together in a meeting today," said Maj. Gen. John P. Sullivan, Commanding General of the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.
The first topic of discussion was the Implementing Arrangement between the U.S. Forces Korea and the Ministry of National Defense. This document governs the rail transportation logistics support on the peninsula between the U.S. and the ROK. Further discussions circled around the lack of formal agreement between the USFK and KORAIL.
Following the rail transportation logistic support discussions, Justin Sturn, Deputy G35 Future Operations 19th ESC, provided a brief overview of the non-combatant evacuation operation movements on the peninsula.
"The U.S. Department of State estimates the current population of the U.S. and United Nations sending states [in Korea] to now be over 500,000," said Sturn. "To support the movement of non-combatants, our primary mode of transportation would be via train."
In addition to rail assets, dependent on the situation, rotary wing assets and U.S. Army buses could also be utilized to transport non-combatants from Area I to relocation centers in Area IV. However, it is important that the assets to move personnel off the peninsula are immediately available when needed. Both U.S. TRANSCOM and the U.S. Army Pacific Command have begun to look beyond just a strategic air solution and are currently exploring the possibility of using ships and ocean vessels with the ability to reach beyond Japan.
"Our recently executed Focused Passage Exercise was able to utilize all modes of transportation on [the peninsula] and strategic air assets off-pen," said Sturn. "In future exercises we are hoping to use off-post nodes and start to include members from the sending nations."
The coordination and synchronization across the ROK TRANSCOM, 2nd Operational Command and the Third ROK Army, is invaluable in setting conditions for reception, staging and onward movement operations. RSO field training exercises allow units, such as the 551st Inland Cargo Transfer Company, to exercise their combined convoy capabilities and to enhance combined movement synchronization.
"This year's RSO FTX consisted of two serial compared to four serials we executed last year," explained Cpt. Michael Beagle, G-33 CUOPS 19th ESC. "This was the second time where our convoy security roles and responsibilities were exchanged from the 2nd Operational Command to another ROK Army Field Command. This year it was the TROKA, last year it was the First ROK Army."
The way-ahead for the RSO FTX will include continuing to utilize rotational unit equipment to conduct operations, leverage current inland petroleum distribution systems and developing a training plan that can stress the system for transportation and movement control by moving a larger volume of equipment.
Following the conclusion of the CMCD, senior logistics leaders met with both the KORAIL military liaison and chief executive officer. Discussions circled around the future of KORAIL and future opportunities for continued, combined planning and operations.