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Operation Pacific Reach Exercise 2017 (OPRex17)

The nomenclature of this exercise consitutes a serious taxonomy violation. Normally, there is a fundamental distinction bewtween an exercise, which is a practice activity involving only friendly forces, and an operation, which is a real world event to close with and destroy the enemy, to impose the will of the American people upon the enemy by killing him or breaking his will to resist. This OPRex17 is an exercise, not an operation.

Combined Forces Command and Republic of Korea forces kicked off a Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore exercise April 10, 2017 at Dogu Beach near the port city of Pohang on the east coast of the Republic of Korea. Officially named Operation Pacific Reach Exercise 2017 (OPRex17), the bilateral exercise focuses on training ROK and United States forces on the employment and operation of various logistic processes. The exercise will highlight Combined and Joint multi-domain, multi-nodal capabilities by setting up and operating an Area Distribution Center (ADC), an Air Terminal Supply Point (ATSP), conducting Logistics Over-the-Shore operations, and the use of rail, inland waterways, and coastal lift operations. This year marked the first time the ADC and ATSP was exercised alongside CJLOTS.

"This exercise is yet another example of our ability to flawlessly execute expeditionary logistics capabilities that can be employed worldwide during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, contingencies or crisis response," said Brig. Gen. Michel Russell, assistant chief of staff for logistics, United States Forces Korea.

Approximately 1,000 U.S. personnel currently stationed on the Korean peninsula will participate, along with nearly 1,200 personnel from the ROK Forces. In addition, the combined force were augmented by approximately 1,500 U.S. personnel from the United States and U.S. bases in the Pacific region. The exercise demonstrated the ROK and U.S. ability to transfer solid and liquid cargo from sea to shore, validate the distribution process of essential items, and operate the load and unload of airlift aircraft.

The goal of OPRex17 was to improve the interoperability of ROK and U.S. forces at the tactical level to build combined capabilities. The exercise is a regularly scheduled event that takes place every two years and is the culmination of many months of planning. Its an exercise based on realistic tactical requirements and missions expected of the ROK-U.S. combined and joint forces.

While not directed toward a current situation or crisis, each training event has a unique tactical scenario aimed at improving readiness. Although defense-oriented, CJLOTS, ADCs and ATSPs are expeditionary logistics capabilities that can be employed worldwide to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, crisis response, or other contingencies. Operation Pacific Reach Exercise 2017 ran through April 21, 2017.

US and South Korean military officials said the joint drill is not part of the annual joint Foal Eagle exercise, and is aimed at enhancing logistics capabilities which can be applied not only for military purposes but also for humanitarian assistance.

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