Curtis Wilbur, ROKN Counter Special Ops
Story Number: NNS050607-19
Release Date: 6/7/2005 9:00:00 PM
By Lt. j.g. Jessica Gandy, Carrier Strike Group 5 Public Affairs
USS CURTIS WILBUR, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) and the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) kicked off the second exercise of this year's Counter Special Operations Forces Exercise 05-2 (CSOFEX 05-2) May 24, with Curtis Wilbur acting as the Maritime Air Support Operations Center, a designation used for the unit controlling all of the aircraft during the exercise.
During the exercise, Curtis Wilbur participated in deck landing qualifications, aircraft interception exercises and practiced as the air control unit with ROKS Yangmanchoon's (DDH 973) helicopter.
“The purpose was to strengthen the Republic of Korea’s Navy and the U.S. Navy’s ability to work together in a complex multithreat environment, consisting of anti-submarine, anti-air and anti-surface threats, to improve the integration of coastal sites and to flex joint U.S. Navy, Army and Air Force capabilities with the ROK navy and air force,” said Lt. William Blodgett, Curtis Wilbur’s CSOFEX officer, who planned the exercise’s events.
Curtis Wilbur embarked ROKN officers as liaisons to assist with communication during the exercise, which offered the ROKN officers a different perspective of the exercise. This was the fifth CSOF exercise for one of the liaison officers, Lt. Kang Tae-youl, a Super Lynx helicopter pilot from the ROKN 627 Squadron.
“There were many aircraft," he said. "The separation control coordination was very good."
As part of the liaison plan, Curtis Wilbur Sailors also embarked aboard ROKN ships during the exercise. Lt.j.g. Ed Prusicieki embarked ROKS Pohang (PCC 756) to assist the ship’s combat information center with communications and by translating some of the maneuvering signals throughout the exercise.
“The officers were extremely kind, welcoming, and included me in many activities, and made me feel like I was part of the wardroom," he said. "I thoroughly enjoyed my time aboard the PCC Pohang, a great experience that I will remember the rest of my life."
Lt. Michael Smith, Curtis Wilbur’s operations officer, was pleased with the overall success of the exercise.
“The opportunity to work with the Republic of Korea navy and air force was an extraordinary chance to prove our warfighting capabilities and that of our allies in a complex multiship environment," he said. "The integration of the Republic of Korea air assets really hallmarked a new standard of warfighting excellence."
Besides Curtis Wilbur, other units involved included ROKS Andong (PCC 771), Yangmanchoon, ROKS Kyungju (PCC 758), Pohang, ROKS Sinsegi (AGS 12) and ROKN SS Choimoosun.
Operating out of Yokosuka, Japan, Curtis Wilbur is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15 and the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Strike Group.
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