SOF Week

Air Force C2 Unit Supports US-ROK Combined Exercise

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 505th Combat Training Squadron supported American and Republic of Korea forces during Ulchi Freedom Shield 22, the largest combined exercise in five years at Osan Air Base, ROK, Aug. 15 to Sep. 1.

UFS 22 was an 11-day computer simulated, defense-oriented training event designed to enhance the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and U.S. Forces Korea’s, defense posture, maintain readiness, and strengthen the security and stability on the Korean peninsula and throughout Northeast Asia.  UFS 22, a theater-wide exercise, synchronized the efforts of the ROK and U.S. alliance’s air, land, and maritime components.

Unique to this exercise was that the American CFC commander and ROK deputy commander switched duties and responsibilities to conduct the Full Operational Capability assessment during exercise UFS as bilaterally agreed upon by the ROK minister of defense and U.S. secretary of defense in December 2021.

“Ulchi Freedom Shield 22 is an opportunity for [ROK] Gen. Ahn Byung-Seok and me to trade leadership duties based on the Future Combined Forces Command construct as outlined by both of our defense secretaries late last year.  This is significant because the [ROK] CFC deputy commander will take the lead as the future CFC commander,” said U.S. Army Gen. Paul LaCamera, UNC/CFC/USFK commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Humphreys, ROK.

The 505th CTS created a realistic, operational-level, multi-domain command and control decision environment utilizing a high-fidelity constructive environment.   Additionally, air, land, maritime, ROK, and seven additional simulation models were used to create a realistic, simulated environment for the exercise.

During UFS 22, the 505th CTS’s professional control force provided mission support via the Air Warfare Simulation system.  Air Tasking Orders were flown and displayed on a common operating system which was used by decision makers across the training audience.  The 505th CTS exercise team produced ten ATOs and executed 19,000 simulated missions, supporting the training of USFK and ROK personnel during UFS 22.

“Once again, the specialists of the 505th CTS have proven their seemingly limitless ability to provide realistic operational-level environments to train air components, joint, and allied partners,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Power, 505th CTS director of operations, Hurlburt Field, Florida.  “These team members leverage diverse operational backgrounds to give warfighters a true picture of airpower.”

Power continued, “While the experts from the 505th CTS made up a relatively small percentage of the exercise team, they had an outsized influence on UFS 22 execution.”

To facilitate the most realistic operational environment possible, members of the 505th CTS traveled to the Pacific Air Simulation Center, or PASC, Osan AB, ROK, a week prior to exercise execution to instruct and prepare operators to produce the high-fidelity air model.

“We could not have accomplished this feat without the support and expertise of the professionals of the 505th Combat Training Squadron,” stated retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Barry Barksdale, PASC senior air controller, Osan AB, ROK.

The 505th CTS reports to the 505th Combat Training Group, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and the 505th Command and Control Wing, headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

The U.S.-ROK Alliance, established in 1953, remains critically important to regional security.  Combined training events, such as UFS 22, help to maintain alliance readiness.

By  Deb Henley

505th Command and Control Wing

Public Affairs

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