130AW member participates in Ulchi Freedom Guardian

  • Published
  • By 1Lt. Heather Ward
  • 130th Airlfit Wing
CHARLESTON, WV - A member of the 130th AW deployed to Seoul, South Korea in August to participate in a large scale military exercise to determine the Republic of Korea's ability to lead a Command and Control exercise.

Lt. Heather E. Ward from Public Affairs deployed as an augmentee for PACAF. The exercise ran the month of August and included greater than 50,000 ROK member and 10,000 US military members. Servicemembers throughout the world were deployed to Yonsan Army Garrison in support of the exercise. Yongsan served as the Joint Force Reception Center and then forwarded members to other locations to include Daegu in southern area of the peninsula and Osan Air Base.

Servicemembers who participated in the exercise had to adapt to a 13 hours time change difference during their two week stay. Those male servicemembers who remained at Yongsan slept, and showered in tent city conditions, while female servicemembers where housed in a gymnasium. The joint exercise included representation from each branch of service including many National Guard members. This was first time Guard members were brought on as participants.

As an augmentee, Lt. Ward worked on the Operations Floor and served as the liason to military media outlets which include a remote Combined Press Information Center, a remote Army Public Affairs detachment and a Navy Public Affairs branch. Those outlets, created press realeases and hosted General press conferences. The press conferences included appearances by General Walter Sharp, Combined Forces Commander, and General Lee, ROK Commander.

The exercise simulated the year 2012 when ROK Forces take command of their military and US Forces become the subordinate command. This will mark the first occasion in which US Forces will become the subordinate military command. According to Gen. Sharp, as reported in Stars and Stripes, the exercise was successful and anticpates future exercises to show more success.

North Korea expressed dissent for the exercise.