Key Resolve/Foal Eagle - 2011
(USPACOM) / Combined Forces Command / U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) exercise, Key Resolve 2011 (KR11) from Feb. 22 – March 10, 2011 is held annually to strengthen the alliance between the Republic of Korea and the U.S. and their ability to protect the region. During KR11, Joint Deployable Team [JDT] personnel served in key staff positions for U.S. Eighth Army (EUSA), a service component headquarters of USFK, one of USPACOM’s sub-unified commands. JDT members assisted EUSA, which was designated as an operational headquarters during the exercise, in meeting its training objectives and provided the unit a better understanding of the level of support the JECC can provide.
Key Resolve, a U.S. and Republic of Korea forces training exercise, began Feb. 28. The combined exercise involves more than 2,300 U.S. forces and nearly 10,000 ROK forces, and is geared towards maintaining the readiness of the Combined Forces Command staff and components. The primary focus of Key Resolve was to exercise Alliance crisis management, defensive and stability operations.
"Our job is to make it as realistic as possible and we do that with a robust scenario, role players, and an array of models and simulations to feed real-world command and control systems," said Col. Patrick Matthews, the director of programs plans and analyses for the 7th Air Force.
ROK and U.S. forces use teamwork and technology to work through the crises and ultimately strengthen the alliance, Colonel Matthews said. "We will demonstrate we can operate as a combined team to defend the country" he said. Colonel Matthews stressed that the relationship between the ROK and U.S. forces is deeply rooted in history. "Our relationship with Korea is not a coalition, it's a combined Alliance," he said. "We're bound to help defend this country and we've been doing it for 60 years," Colonel Matthews said.
The 10-day exercise included roughly 1,350 Air Force personnel and will underline the total force concept with active duty, guard and reserve Airmen. "Every time we do one of these exercises the main goal is to strengthen the alliance," Colonel Matthews said. "We work well together and we find out more about each other to help us to work better in the long run."
Staff Sgt. Hwang Song Hun, a ROK forces air simulation specialist, said he was ready to continue the tradition of the alliance at his first Key Resolve exercise. "I'm looking forward to working with our U.S. counterparts and I'm curious to learn how they do business," Sergeant Hwang said.
Retired Brig. Gen. Barry Barksdale, the Korean Air Simulation Center senior air controller, has coordinated 12 Key Resolve exercises and can attest to the cohesiveness of these exercises as well as the improvement of components. "There is a night-and-day difference from when we started this exercise," he said. "Technology is much better, but what sets this exercise apart from others is the meshing of incredible technology with great people."
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