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Partnership with port training facility in Korea announced. (First time for a foreign agency).

The Military Traffic Management Command has formalized and expanded its unique training with industry program with the Korean Port Training Institute, or KPTI.

The training program, originally developed to provide gantry crane training for U.S. Army soldiers, has been expanded to include additional instruction and hands-on training in marine terminal safety; electronic data interchange; and container handling equipment, like reach stackers.

To officially recognize the partnership, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Privratsky toured the facility, located in the busy Port of Pusan, in February.

Along with the KPTI Director, Dr. Cho Yeong-tark, the two planted a tree and unveiled a plaque commemorating the official partnership.

"KPTI's port training program is excellent, and the facilities and faculty are world class," remarked Privratsky during an interview with local media.

Last fall, Dr. Cho and two faculty professors traveled to Fort Eustis, Va., to present a gantry crane simulator as a gift to the U.S. Army Transportation School.

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, the Chief of Transportation, Maj Gen William E. Mortenson, noted that the crane simulator provides challenging individual training for the military occupational specialty, or MOS, 88H soldiers attending school, as well as sustainment training for soldiers who have attended the KPTI gantry crane course in Korea.

Development of the state-of-the-art simulator followed an accelerated program by KFFI to improve the prototype, based on feedback by both U.S. Army and Korean civilian crane operators.

The new simulator includes realistic sound and toggle resistance, and improved graphics that include the normal pitch and roll of a berthed container ship and the wind effects on a container being lifted.

Both the simulator donation and expansion of the training program were coordinated by Mr. Son Hui-chol, a member of MTMC's 837th Transportation Battalion in Pusan. Son was recently honored as the MTMC Civilian of the Year.

"The program has steadily improved over the last couple of years, thanks to the strong support of Dr. Cho and KPTI," said Son. "They adjust their training programs to accommodate our requirements. For example, when we asked about expanding the gantry crane course to provide more hands-on training in KPTI's full-size gantry crane, they expanded the course to 80 hours.

"As an additional benefit for the soldier's apprenticeship training, KPTI began awarding certificates of completion accredited through a local college cooperative degree program," said Son.

The gantry crane course continues to generate the most interest.

Following this summer's Joint Logistics Over the Shore, or JLOTS, exercise in Korea, selected soldiers from the 7th Transportation Group will travel to Pusan to complete the course. In acknowledgement of the continuous training support, the Group Commander, Col. Bradley Smith, recently awarded the Transportation Corp's Order of St. Christopher award to Dr. Cho.

The institute, under the Korean Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, serves as the national organization with responsibility for training in port industrial operations. In addition to the training, KPTI and 837th leadership meet routinely to exchange information on Korean port practices and capabilities.

Lt. Col. Floyd Driver, 837th Commander, is one of the program's biggest proponents.

"The opportunity to conduct training at KIWI provides cost savings for the Army" noted Driver. "More importantly, it helps build strong U.S.-Korea relationships that can only improve readiness."
Lt. Col. Tom Harvey
Chief, Command Operations Center
MTMC Headquarters
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Author:Harvey, Tom
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Mar 1, 2001
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