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US, Korean Navys Team to Test Harbor Defense During RSOI/FE

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070402-27
Release Date: 4/2/2007 6:03:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Lisa Wassilieff,Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

BUSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Service members from Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron (NCWRON) 33 and members of the 308th Early Warning Squadron from the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy, teamed up March 19 through March 31 with one mission in mind: harbor defense.

The training was conducted on the Republic of Korea (ROK) Third Fleet Base in Busan, Cho-do Island and Busan’s Pier 8.

The joint and combined exercise was part of the annually scheduled spring exercise cycle involving two exercises called Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, & Integration and Foal Eagle 2007 (RSOI/FE 07).

Capt. Guy Bony, the commodore of NCWRON 33, discussed the importance of his squadron working with their ROK counterparts.

“Integration is always critical. It is important to work together and function effectively as a team. It gets the job done,” said Bony. “This exercise has been a real success story.”

Bony has been participating in this exercise since 1995 and has always enjoyed working with the ROK Navy.

“The Koreans are always gracious and competent in the jobs they do,” said Bony. “They are very capable at conducting harbor defense.”

NCW squadrons normally provide seaward security with patrol boats, as well as using sensor platforms that provide a technical picture of the ports and harbors they operate in.

During the exercise, they trained alongside their ROK counterparts on what operations would be necessary to provide harbor and port security for ships pulling into the Republic of Korea.

The training involved using sonobuoys equipped with passive sonar capabilities, which fed information to computer screens and listening equipment located on Pier 8 and Cho-do Island.

Once the information has been fed and the random lines deciphered by the ROK and U.S. militaries working there, the ship or craft’s identity is relayed to the boat units. Upon receipt of those warnings, personnel quickly move out in the waters with their patrol crafts, which are equipped with both machine guns and high-speed capabilities.

Practicing these operations is what makes the possibility of an actual danger to the harbor that much easier to detect and defend against.

Lt. Kim Hyun-gil, an officer in the ROK’s 308th Early Warning Squadron, was in charge of the Combat Operations Center for the exercise. Kim’s job was to ensure weather conditions and surface contacts were detected and monitored.

“It was a lot of fun and teamwork involved in this exercise,” said Kim. “This opportunity was important because it gave us (ROK Navy) a chance to learn about another country’s Navy.”

For Sonar Technician 1st Class Bryan Chandler, a Navy Reservist attached to MIUWU 110, the experience may have been a lot of hard work and long hours, but the overall experience was a memorable.

“It’s been a blast doing this kind of training,” said Chandler. “It’s exciting being here and a nice break from my civilian job in the states.”

The units that participated in the exercise from the NCW squadrons consisted of Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit (MIUWU) 101, Inshore Boat Unit (IBU) 11, MIUW 110, and IBU 1. NCW squadrons are primarily comprised of Navy and Coast Guard Reservists.

In addition to the NCW squadrons, members of the Coast Guard from Port Security Unit (PSU) 313 and active-duty Sailors from Mobile Security Detachment (MSD) 72 also participated in the training evaluation.

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