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Military Sealift Command Played Vital Role in Joint U.S./ROK Exercise

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070402-32
Release Date: 4/2/2007 8:57:00 PM

From Military Sealift Command Public Affairs

BUSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- More than 60 Military Sealift Command (MSC) civilian and Navy personnel took part in a joint U.S/Republic of Korea (ROK) Exercise Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration (RSOI) from March 25 through March 31.

The exercise, conducted every year since 1994, tested the abilities of the two countries’ militaries to defend the peninsular nation.

“This exercise is a dedicated time where MSC works with key players to practice a very important mission,” said Navy Cmdr. Ron Oswald, commanding officer of Military Sealift Command Office (MSCO), Korea.

MSC personnel trained with other branches of the U.S. military and their Republic of Korea counterparts to simulate a massive influx of military cargo ships at the Korean ports of Busan, Gwangyang, Mokpo and Pohang. More than 40 MSC personnel were on site at MSCO Korea in Busan, staffing a crisis action center which responds to simulated emergency scenarios.

Eight MSC personnel staffed a forward-deployed headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, which would command and control MSC ships going in and out of the ROK. Another 15 personnel crewed a Mobile Sealift Operations Command van that is capable of independently coordinating ship arrivals and off-loads in the event that port facilities are damaged or destroyed.

“In a real world emergency, we would have to hit the ground running,” said Navy Capt. Luke McCollum, commander of Naval Reserve Sealift Logistics Command Far East Unit 102. “Our training and familiarization of Korean ports is essential so we can be ready to carry out our mission.”

The MSC teams consisted of active duty and civilian staff from MSCO Korea and Navy Reservists from six Reserve units based in St. Louis, Mo.; Kansas City, Mo.; Quincy, Mass.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Little Rock, Ark.; and San Diego.

The exercise was held concurrently with Foal Eagle 2007 – a series of joint/combined field training exercises. Both exercises included up to 7,000 military personnel from the U.S. and the ROK.

MSCO Korea was established in 1950 and provides administrative, material and logistic support to more than 120 visiting MSC ships each year. These ships provide more than half a million tons of cargo to U.S. forces in Korea each year.

MSC operates the U.S. Navy’s fleet of more than 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that deliver combat equipment to troops, re-supply Navy ships at sea, chart the ocean floor, and perform a variety of other missions for the Department of Defense.

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