USAG HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- Rear Adm. Michael Studeman, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command intelligence director, visited South Korea and received updates from U.S. Forces Korea on theater assets, Oct. 28.
During the visit, Studeman received a tour of Field Station Korea, a secure intelligence compound, conducted by Col. James Walsh, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade commander, and Col. Paul Oh, Eighth Army intelligence chief of operations.
While entering the building, which was the focus of the tour, Walsh pointed out an old black and white photo that showed the age of the building, and commented that FSK would eventually be replaced by a complex that is currently in the design stage. Walsh described the capabilities of the facilities in the FSK, and how they tied into brigade components stationed throughout South Korea. He then provided a brief synopsis of the 501st, to include an overview of each of the four battalions stationed in Korea, 3rd, 524th, 532nd, 719th, and the 368th, a reserve component of the brigade headquartered at Camp Parks, California.
Walsh also explained the brigade is continuing to build its expeditionary capability. He detailed how linked in the brigade was to its Republic of Korea counterparts to support the intelligence requirements on the peninsula. This was made clear during the tour, where Studeman saw ROK and U.S. Soldiers working side-by-side in each room.
Maj. Joshua Johnson, 719th MI Battalion operations officer, walked Studeman through the 719th's duties and responsibilities conducted in FSK, and pointed out the close working relationship of ROK and U.S. Soldiers.
A short brief on 3rd Battalion's assets and responsibilities was given by one of the battalion's signals intelligence analysts Spc. Cameron Shell. Then Chief Warrant Officer 3 Martha Parker, Guardrail Mission officer in charge, explained the combined operations that take place in her section.
Finally, Maj. John Wiebeld, Theater Analysis and Control Element Chief from 532nd MI Battalion, detailed the responsibilities of his area for Studeman and discussed joint and combined training exercises with input from Walsh and Oh.
As the admiral departed, Walsh told him, as with any mission, there are always challenges, but assured him the brigade will continue to work diligently with their ROK counterparts to overcome them.
The 501st Military Intelligence Brigade provides indications and early warning of actions by opposing forces who could threaten the tense, but stable, peace in the Republic of Korea. In the event of hostilities, the brigade's mission shifts to providing combined, multi-discipline intelligence and force protection support to the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command, the CFC Ground Component Command and their subordinate units.