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NEWS | July 27, 2023

ROK and 9th Mission Support Command forge stronger bonds in joint convoy operation exercise

9th Mission Support Command

In a display of cooperation and camaraderie, soldiers from the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the 658th Regional Support Group, 9th Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve joined forces for a methodically coordinated convoy exercise from June 19-22. The exercise, aimed at ensuring a seamless resupply of resources to forward units during wartime, showcased the commitment of both nations to strengthen their alliance further.

Led by the Army Mobilization Force Command (KOSSA), the joint ROK-US convoy operation covered approximately 151 km, from Pyeongtaek to Pocheon. The exercise witnessed more than 150 soldiers participating, including over nine soldiers from the Mobilization Resource Convoy under the Mobilization Force Command and the 658th RSG.

The soldiers' proficiency in wartime operations was put to the test as they skillfully navigated the convoy, escorting vital equipment, weapons, and ammunition to their destination, all accomplished before dawn. This demonstration of strategic maneuverability and precise coordination exemplified the bond formed between the two units, which often engage in tasks like wartime reserve force support and convoys.

Preparations for the exercise were meticulous, reflecting the soldiers' dedication to ensuring mission success. Terrain analysis and scouting were conducted beforehand, enabling the selection of the most efficient and secure maneuver routes. To address any unforeseen emergencies, communication measures, including satellite networks and disaster safety communication, were established. The deployment of Convoy vehicles and the new Battlefield Movement Tracking System (BMTS) added an extra layer of protection, ensuring maneuverability, survivability, and efficient command communication functions.

Sgt. 1st Class Lim Dong-Hyun, operations NCO of the 9th MSC’s 658th Regional Support Group, praised the exercise, "The actual training would have advanced the mission execution system of the two countries to the next level," adding, "In particular, we will continue to cooperate with the MFC as we are entrusted with the special and important task of 'elite reserve forces.”

The exercise also commemorated the 70th anniversary of the ROK-US alliance, highlighting the ongoing knowledge sharing between the countries developing interoperability that will be needed in future battlefield environments.

Lt. Col. Lee Ki-kyu, who led the Convoy Planning and Control Division, emphasized the continued reinforcement of forces, including drones and warrior platforms, to ensure victory in future warfare scenarios.

The 9th MSC is a U.S. Army Reserve command under the operational control of the U.S. Army Pacific Command, providing trained and ready forces for overseas contingency operations as well as to Disaster Assistance and Response operations. This successful joint exercise demonstrated the seamless cooperation between the ROK and 9th MSC Soldiers, fostering a sense of camaraderie and trust essential for future joint operations. The exercise has undoubtedly elevated the preparedness of both nations' forces, signaling their commitment to safeguarding peace and stability in the region.

As the most geographically dispersed Army Reserve command, the 9th MSC operates across seven time zones and nine Army Reserve facilities spread throughout three countries, three states and three American territories. Additionally, thirty-five languages are accounted for at the command, which provides linguist support to U.S. Army Pacific Command.

The 9th MSC plays a vital role in approximately 20 annual and bi-annual exercises under the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Theater Security Cooperation Program, providing humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and defense support of civil authorities.