Monday, August 26, 2013

PJs keep lines of communication open

by Staff Sgt. Emerson Nuñez
7th Air Force Public Affairs

8/25/2013 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- One of the biggest challenges the Air Component Commander in the Republic of Korea faces is how to ensure seamless communication between forces who speak different languages.

While the shared mission might be clearly understood, how to get there might not always be easy to translate. That's where the ACC plans and coordination team comes in.

"Bringing both U.S. and ROK forces together is our goal," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bryan Christensen, incoming director for the ACC/PJ team. "We are a combined force and make sure both sides are communicating effectively together -- we bring both services together as one team to accomplish the mission."

A large part of their mission is to coordinate senior leadership battle rhythms between U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, the Air Component Commander, and ROKAF Lt. Gen. Cha-Kyu Choi, Air Force Operations Command commander.

The team's operations tempo kicks into high gear during yearly exercises such as Key Resolve and Ulchi Freedom Guardian as military members and civilians come from all over the world to take part in scenarios designed to ensure readiness to defend the ROK and sustain the capabilities that strengthen the ROK-U.S. alliance.

Interpreters on the ACC/PJ team have to worry about more than just simple translation between English and Korean. They must also overcome cultural differences and nuisances while also figuring out how each service works to accomplish their goals.

"The cultural differences between USAF and ROKAF is vast and its can be difficult to ensure that both sides understand each other," said Capt. Min-kyung Park, ACC/PJ contingency planning officer.

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