Key Resolve builds stronger, more integrated relationships

| April 27, 2017 | 0 Comments
Members of navy Reserve detachments sDDC 320 and Military sealift Command Far East (MsC-FE) 101, representing the 599th Transportation Brigade and MsC Far East, respectively, at the Japan seaport Coordination Center during KR17, pose for a photo in front of 836th Transportation Battalion Headquarters at Yokohama north Dock, Japan, on March 23. (Photo courtesy of Navy Cmdr. Ned Swanson, SDDC 320)

Members of navy Reserve detachments sDDC 320 and Military sealift Command Far East (MsC-FE) 101, representing the 599th Transportation Brigade and MsC Far East, respectively, at the Japan seaport Coordination Center during KR17, pose for a photo in front of 836th Transportation Battalion Headquarters at Yokohama north Dock, Japan, on March 23. (Photo courtesy of Navy Cmdr. Ned Swanson, SDDC 320)

Donna Klapakis
599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — 599th Transportation Brigade personnel manned the Combined Seaport Coordination Center (CSCC) in Busan, South Korea, and the Japan Seaport Coordination Center (JSCC) at Yokohama North Dock, Japan, during Exercise Key Resolve 2017 (KR17) from March 13-23.

“This event provided an opportunity to exercise, assess and evaluate single port manager and operator concepts in a combined command-post scenario in the Korean theater, as well as to support Combined Forces Command (CFC) contingency plans,” said Richard Patton, 599th Trans. Bde. Korea forward planner. “Key Resolve successfully educated warfighters on Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s (SDDC) forward-deployed, power-projection roles and capabilities.”

Lt. Col. James Congrove, night battle captain at the CSCC, qualifies on the 9 mm pistol range at Busan, South Korea, with help from Staff Sgt. Matthew Arrington, 837th Transportation Battalion, during an exercise pause for Key Resolve 17 on March 11. (Photo courtesy of Col. Anthony Aquino, 599th Transportation Brigade deputy commander)

Lt. Col. James Congrove, night battle captain at the CSCC, qualifies on the 9 mm pistol range at Busan, South Korea, with help from Staff Sgt. Matthew Arrington, 837th Transportation Battalion, during an exercise pause for Key Resolve 17 on March 11. (Photo courtesy of Col. Anthony Aquino, 599th Transportation Brigade deputy commander)

During the exercise, U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) allies worked together at the CSCC.

“The relationship between the U.S. Army and our ROK partners has never been stronger,” said Col. Anthony Aquino, 599th deputy commander and U.S. co-chair for the exercise at the CSCC. “Our teams have never worked more closely or been more integrated in my 10 years of participating in U.S. Forces Korea exercises.”

Not only did allied Soldiers work together, the exercise also saw active duty, Reserve and Navy working out problems together in the same centers and coordination throughout the Pacific area of operations.

“KR was yet another example of our great Total Force Integration (TFI) concept and great training and cooperation between active and reserve components,” said Col. James Smith, 599th commander.

“We are bringing TFI to a new level, with active and reserve units coming from both on and off peninsula to staff the CSCC,” said Aquino. “I could not be more proud of our Reservists, many of whom arrived in country after 11 p.m. on Sunday and were on their way to a 13- or 14-hour shift at 7 a.m. the next day. This replicates similar stressors they would encounter should a contingency arise.”

As co-chair for the JSCC, Navy Cmdr. Ned Swanson, commander of SDDC 320 Naval Reserve Unit in Alameda, California, was the lead Japan forward element of the 599th for KR. His unit worked with different units for the exercise.

ROK and U.S. flags adorn the desktop of co-chairs for the CSCC at Busan, South Korea, during KR 17. (Photo courtesy of Col. Anthony Aquino, 599th Transportation Brigade deputy commander)

ROK and U.S. flags adorn the desktop of co-chairs for the CSCC at Busan, South Korea, during KR 17. (Photo courtesy of Col. Anthony Aquino, 599th Transportation Brigade deputy commander)

“SDDC 320 is a relatively small team,” Swanson said. “Because of our small staff, we each take on a combination of roles and wear several hats. During KR, we worked with the CSCC, 599th Trans. Bde. HQ on Wheeler Army Airfield; 836th Transportation Battalion on Yokohama North Dock; Military Sealift Command Far East, Ship Support Office Japan; and Military Sealift Command Far East Reserve Detachment 101 (MSCFE 101).”

The 599th also sent Carlos Tibbetts, 599th terminals chief, to act as SDDC liaison at the Joint Movement Coordination Center in Seoul.

“I worked with the U.S. Forces Korea J4-Transportation, Combined Transportation Movement Center, ROK Transportation Command, and U.S. observers,” Tibbetts said. “During exercises, I find points of contact who will have and need information, and then act as an information hub to ensure that everyone keeps informed of all the updates.”

In addition to manning operations centers overseas, the 599th also increased manning for its command operations center here.

“We worked split shifts from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.,” said Air Force Maj. Charles Boler, command operations center chief. “We briefed real-world current ops during the nightly battle update brief and monitored traffic and video teleconferences occurring in the Korean theater of operations during the exercise.”

Members of Navy Reserve detachments SDDC 320 and Military Sealift Command Far East (MSC-FE) 101, representing the 599th Transportation Brigade and MSC Far East, respectively, at the Japan Seaport Coordination Center during KR17, pose for a photo in front of 836th Transportation Battalion Headquarters at Yokohama North Dock, Japan, on March 23. (Photo courtesy of Navy Cmdr. Ned Swanson, SDDC 320)

Members of Navy Reserve detachments SDDC 320 and Military Sealift Command Far East (MSC-FE) 101, representing the 599th Transportation Brigade and MSC Far East, respectively, at the Japan Seaport Coordination Center during KR17, pose for a photo in front of 836th Transportation Battalion Headquarters at Yokohama North Dock, Japan, on March 23. (Photo courtesy of Navy Cmdr. Ned Swanson, SDDC 320)

The 599th refined operations during this iteration of the annual exercise.

“The climate within the CSCC was at an all-time high,” said Lt. Col. James Congrove, night battle captain at the CSCC during KR. “Several reasons: First and foremost is the people. The CSCC is fortunate to have a group of reservists that come together formally as a unit twice per year from locations in time zones from Washington, D.C., to within the Korean theater itself. These Soldiers bring with them a tremendous experience base, not only from within SDDC, but from a broad range of logistics disciplines – folks from watercraft, rail and truck units, even airlift.

“Secondly is the relationship between the two colonels that chair the CSCC. Col. Aquino on the U.S. side and Col. Park, Nam Soo representing the South Koreans, are not only likeminded in their leadership approaches, but they genuinely set the example of a strong friendship and effective working relationship in a combined environment.”

“This is my fourth iteration of the KR and Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise series,” said Smith. “I can say with all confidence that the brigade as a whole has made significant improvements in its ability to mission command and coordinate strategic surface movement in continuity operations.”

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