by Capt. Joe Simms
940th Wing Public Affairs
8/27/2013 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- More
than 75 members of the 701st Combat Operations Squadron from March Air
Reserve Base, Calif., are here supporting Ulchi Freedom Guardian that
began Aug. 26.
UFG is an annual defense-oriented exercise developed around scenarios
designed to defend the Republic of Korea, protect the region, and
maintain stability on the peninsula.
Established in 1995, the one-of-a-kind 701st COS supports 7th Air Force,
the U.S. Air Force component to the U.S. and Republic of Korea Combined
Forces Command's Air Component Command for exercises such as UFG and
Maj. Eric Chancellor, 701st COS Mission Support Flight commander, has
been with the squadron for seven years and understands the worldwide
impact of their mission.
"All of our training is designed to support exercises such as Key
Resolve and UFG," said Chancellor. "This is our mission, to support the
AOC mission for 7 AF and the Korean Peninsula. We come here, we train,
and we take it seriously."
During UFG, the 701st augments the air operations center and its primary goal of creating and executing air tasking orders.
Every day, once the ATO is finalized, it is funneled down to Airmen from
different specialties working alongside their ROK counterparts in the
hardened tactical air control center, commonly referred to as the "war
Maj. Malia Sharkey, 701st Combat Airspace Management, and Capt. Juan
Benavides, 607th Air Operations Center, along with their ROK
counterpart, use the ATO as a guide to monitor airborne assets during
"Our job is to monitor the airspace on the Korean Peninsula and all
coalition missions being flown in the theater," said Sharkey. "We work
closely with the ROK so they see what we see and vice versa."
"During the exercise, it's important that we are working together and
learning from the South Koreans, as well as them learning from us,"
Chancellor explained. "We work hand in hand with our South Korean
counterparts with the goal of helping them understand how we do business
and improving their processes."
Chancellor and Sharkey are two of more than 3,000 augmentees from U.S.
and bases in the Pacific region participating in UFG, along with
military forces from seven United Nation's Command member state
including Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Augmenting an AOC mission requires the 701st to behave like a wing
within itself with representatives from more than 60 Air Force Specialty
"We are unique, we're diverse, and I think that helps us do our
mission," Chancellor said. "Many sections are one or two people deep, so
we rely on each other to get the job done."