Waegwan, Republic of Korea — In military logistics, readiness is the bedrock of strategic, operational, and tactical success. For the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command (19th ESC), headquartered at Camp Henry in Daegu, Republic of Korea, readiness goes beyond mere rhetoric. It’s a way of life.

The 19th ESC is charting a path to ensure that not only do they “win the fight tonight,” but that they are always postured to win before the fight occurs.

At the heart of their strategy is a dynamic regional sustainment framework that embodies several key tenets - forward presence, robust repair capability, and the meticulous management of critical commodities on the Korean peninsula. And perhaps most importantly, the 19th ESC proudly cherishes a deep and unbreakable bond with the Republic of Korea.

"We Go Together!"
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(Photo Credit: Maj. Javon Starnes, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command public affairs officer)
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Recently, Ms. Lisa P. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Product Support (DASD-PS), was invited to explore the 19th ESC’s operational footprint. Smith is responsible for the development and implementation of acquisition and sustainment strategies and processes, providing the Warfighter with cost-effective weapon system readiness across the life cycle. She is also the U.S. co-chair of the Logistics Cooperation Committee (LCC). During the visit, Smith was given an operational briefing that explored the core mission of the 19th ESC.

Capabilities briefing
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At the heart of their core mission are tenants aligned with the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s (OSD) regional sustainment framework. These tenants are not just abstract concepts; they are the guiding principles that shape the unit into an efficient and highly responsive force.

Touring the Heavy Equipment Division on Camp Carroll, Waegwan, South Korea
(Photo Credit: Mrs. Pak, Chong Min, Materiel Support Command-Korea) VIEW ORIGINAL

Tenet 1: Forward Presence - Being Where It Matters Most

The first tenant, “forward presence,” is a strategy that underlines the 19th ESC’s commitment to readiness. In an era of rapid warfare, having the right capability in the right place at the right time is paramount. Their forward presence ensures not only quicker response times but also shorter strategic lines of communication. Lines of communication are routes that connect a military force with its base of operations as it executes tactical operations against an enemy force. Sustainment supplies and military forces move along the lines of communication in support of tactical efforts.

Spread across numerous camps and bases in Korea, the 19th ESC has created a sustainment web spanning the peninsula. Their units play a pivotal role in orchestrating the movement of personnel, equipment, and supplies using various modes of transportation. This ensures that every piece, person, or repair part falls perfectly into place, enhancing their readiness for any challenge.

Understanding fabrication capabilities
Ms. Lisa P. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Product Support (DASD-PS), is briefed on the fabrication capabilities of the Materiel Support Command-Korea (Photo Credit: Mrs. Pak, Chong Min, Materiel Support Command-Korea) VIEW ORIGINAL

Tenet 2: Robust Repair Capability - Rapid Regeneration of Readiness

In a world where the speed of regeneration can be a determining factor in contested environments, this capability is paramount.

The second tenet, “robust repair capability,” leveraging regional Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) capabilities, whether owned by a partner nation, U.S. Industry, or through a partnership between U.S industry and the partner nation, greatly enhances the 19th ESC’s readiness strategy. The Materiel Support Command Korea (MSC-K), assigned to the 19th ESC, plays a pivotal role in this strategy. MSC-K effectively and efficiently coordinates the movement of U.S. military equipment, supplies, and various materials through air, rail, ground, or blending vessel methods. This seamless logistical operation ensures readiness and preparedness for any potential challenges.

"Fight tonight!"
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"We are Team 19!"
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"Two Nations, one team!"
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Tenet 3: Deep Partnership - 같이갑시다

We Go Together — United for a Common Goal

The third tenet, “deep partnership,” is the very essence of “같이갑시다”  or “we go together.” Building a solid and unwavering partnership with the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea Army is necessary for their mission. It’s about unity, collaboration, and a shared objective: to be fully prepared for any contingencies.

This partnership transcends the borders of the 19th ESC and the Republic of Korea Army; it extends to the industrial sector. This collaboration fostered over more than several decades, is reinforced through initiatives like Logistics Cost Sharing. These programs have been instrumental in driving the commitment of the ROK government, resulting in enhanced U.S. military capabilities in Korea while ensuring cost efficiency.

"Thank you for supporting Team 19"
(Photo Credit: Mrs. Pak, Chong Min, Materiel Support Command-Korea) VIEW ORIGINAL

These vital tenets guide the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command’s core mission. It’s not merely a plan but a dedicated commitment to readiness and preparedness. These tenets embody the essence of being ‘ready to fight tonight’ and ‘win “before” the fight tonight.’ By prioritizing forward presence, robust repair capabilities, and nurturing deep partnerships, the 19th ESC fortifies its role in the defense landscape, setting an exemplary model for supporting the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Regional Sustainment Framework. As the 19th ESC continues to lead the way, it contributes to a safer and more open U.S. Indo-Pacific.

Join #Team19
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For further insights into the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command’s mission and strategy, please visit https://www.army.mil/19thESC. To learn more about becoming an Army Logistician, visit GoArmy.com. Also for more content regarding the 19th ESC, visit https://www.facebook.com/19thESC.