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599th Transportation Group participates in annual UFL exercise.

United States Forces from around the world joined together with members of the Republic of Korea (ROK) military Aug. 22-Sept. 2 at Busan, Korea, to participate in the annual Ulchi Focus Lens Exercise (UFL).

The exercise simulates realistic peninsula seaport operations through the use of a Combined Seaport Coordination Center (CSCC).

UFL is considered the world's largest computer simulated exercise, and is conducted by the U.S. Combined Forces Command and South Korea to evaluate and improve joint coordination, procedures, plans and systems that are critical to ensure both readiness and a strong deterrent posture on the peninsula.

Due to the proximity and credibility of threat, the complexity of the Korean Theater of Operations and the high turnover of U.S. and ROK personnel, exercises like UFL are an absolute must.

"UFL is a dynamic exercise in an ever-changing environment. Each year's exercise demands a fresh look," said Col. Kathi Kreklow, the 599th Transportation Group commander and this year's CSCC U.S. co-chair. "From a seaport perspective, there are several new ports under construction on the southern coast of the peninsula that provide tremendous flexibility with 'end-to-end' distribution which includes deployment, redeployment, RSOI, and sustainment. The quality of personnel, the teamwork and camaraderie between ROK and U.S. forces in the CSCC is what makes this exercise such a success."

The CSCC organizationally is made up of members from both U.S. and ROK forces, to include 599th Transportation Group, Department of the Army Civilians, U.S. Army Active Component, Korean Augmentees to the U.S. Army, Individual Mobilization Augmentee Reservists, and Navy Reservists of the Military Sealift and Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping Commands. This year's exercise also included 599th battalion members from Pusan, Korea, and Okinawa and Yokohama, Japan.

This exercise, which emphasizes the "Warfighting Focus," is used to prep defenses for an attack from an unnamed enemy, though the scenarios involve an opponent whose characteristics mirror those of North Korea.

"For the first time, I had the opportunity to work in a joint operation capacity with both U.S. and ROK forces. My principle duties included working with the GCCS-K system and updating the Common Operation Picture as new information was made available to me," said SK3 Chris Lee, a first-time participant. "As new scenarios were presented, l would research options and provide the Battle Captain with feasibility studies and raw data for items such as alternate ports for contingency plans. I think we all came away from the exercise with a clearer idea of what can be expected of us at the CSCC and I look forward to taking what I learned back to my unit and sharing this information to help prepare others for future UFL exercises."

According to Marine Corps Capt. Kim Hayworth, working with all the agencies within the CSCC was educational and rewarding. "Since I haven't operated in a joint environment before, this was a great opportunity for me to see how all U.S. branches and ROK counterparts can come together to make an operation of this scale come together."

Lt. Col. James Miller 599th Transportation Group
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Author:Miller, James
Publication:Translog
Date:Jan 1, 2006
Words:517
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