News: USARJ, Okinawa participates in Ulchi Freedom Guardian 13
Story by Charles Steitz
TORII STATION, Japan – Approximately 25 soldiers from the 10th Regional Support Group joined with other service members across Japan and South Korea to participate in Exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian from Aug. 19-30.
The mission of the 10th RSG was to enhance coordination throughout the exercise.
“Soldiers from the 10th Regional Support Group, 35th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, as well as the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery [Regiment] provided life support to Ulchi Freedom Guardian 13 to the United States Army, Japan Staff at Camp Zama, and a sustainment cell at Sagami Depot. The sustainment cell integrated with elements from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, 18th Medical Command, USARJ and 8th Theater Sustainment Command throughout the exercise to provide and simulate sustainment support requirements for the Korean theater of operations from Japan. This served to help better foster coordination and integration between 10th RSG and the varied agencies/partners that participated in the exercise,” explained Capt Matthew Kotowski, plans and exercises officer for 10th RSG.
UFG 13 is an annual command and control exercise highlighting the commitment and dedication between nations to ensure peace and stability throughout the Asian-Pacific Rim.
“Five of us served as Liaison Officers at Camp Zama with 20 soldiers assigned to Sagami Depot. As UFG13 played out, tasks were directed to USARJ and at times onto to 10th RSG. The LNOs would coordinate all actions necessary to ensure communication and understanding. Although, UFG has gone on for many years, one of the main focuses was how to deal with noncombatant evacuation operations,” explained Staff Sgt. Ashley Bohanon, unit security, noncommissioned officer 10th RSG.
The goals and objectives of the exercise were achieved, Bohanon added, “It was really beneficial to go through the entire spectrum of possibilities. Although NEO was a large part of the exercise there were several other opportunities to learn about emergency operations. UFG 13 as a whole was really good this year. We hit all the major milestones, and went through a vast spectrum of avenues that could have been approached for the exercise. The end result was enhanced processes, and greater understanding.”
The computer-aided exercise involves participation from approximately 50,000 South Korean soldiers and 30,000 U.S. military personnel from bases in the U.S. and across the Pacific region, Yonhap News Agency reports.