FORT SHAFTER, HAWAII--The Integrated Control Element (ICE) from the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command deployed to Korea for the upcoming exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian on July 30, 2012.

The Soldiers deployed early as an effort to setup areas from communications to lodging for the main element of Soldiers deploying to Korea in the coming months.

"This is my first UFG and I'm looking forward to learning my role and how everything works together and also I hope to gain some good training experience out of this exercise," said Staff Sgt. Joshua A. Myrice, the 94th AAMDC attack operations noncommissioned officer in charge and a Toledo, Ohio native.

As with any exercise, UFG has many Soldiers participating that have different skill sets and various levels of training to accomplish the mission.

"My job is to keep accountability of all 94th AAMDC personnel, coordinate all vehicle transportation and ensure that all lodging and food requirements are taken care of so that the main element will have a smooth transition so they can start their mission," said Sgt. 1st Class Robert D. Ybarra Jr., the 94th AAMDC field first sergeant during UFG and a San Diego, Calif. native.

When Soldiers deploy from home-station, they have several different methods of preparing themselves for it.

"I prepared for UFG by ensuring that all my training was up to date and collected all the email account requests so that the accounts can be made," said Staff Sgt. Travis J. Barriga, a 94th AAMDC Information Technology Specialist and a native of Hawaii. "Also my role for this exercise is to maintain communications between the 94th AAMDC Soldiers participating in the exercise from Korea and the ones working at the Air and Space Operations Center in Hawaii."

Ulchi Freedom Guardian is an annual Command Post Exercise organized by the Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command. It is held yearly to maintain a joint defense posture and guarantee the security of the Korean Peninsula.