by Staff Sgt. William Banton
7th Air Force Public Affairs
3/10/2015 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- In
a nondescript room at the bottom of a random building, sits a group of
men and women coordinating engineering requirements for military
The civil engineers working for 7th Air Force installations and mission
support during exercise Key Resolve 2015 strive to ensure all Republic
of Korea and U.S. installations remain operational in a contingency
"Our primary mission is to repair the damage that would occur during an
attack and try to repair those things as fast as possible," said ROK air
force Capt. Young Woon Yoon, exercise and training chief.
To keep that mission going, the two countries must count on on each other.
"We rely heavily on the ROKAF engineers to ensure the airfields are
operational," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Anna Narduzzi, 7th Air Force
plans and readiness chief. "There are places where U.S. engineers might
not have personnel, but we are flying operations."
In operations like KR15, civil engineers support the pre-air tasking
orders directly by ensuring all facilities have the proper resources
needed to stay operational, to include water and electricity.
"When you say Air Force, the older [Koreans] just think of the aircraft,
but with civil engineering we control, take care of or support
everything from the start to the end," Yoon said. "I am really proud a
lot of the functions that make the operation succeed are done by civil
According to Yoon, the continuity ROKAF forces provide is essential to
mission success, because they don't have to overcome the challenges of
knowledge turnover on an annual or biannual basis.
"It makes it much easier, because I can ask [ROKAF members] questions,
and I know they're already prepared for whatever may happen," Narduzzi
said. "For example, if an airfield lighting system would go down, they
are already prepared to move their extra portable lighting system to one
of our bases for back up.
"During the exercise, I told them we had an issue with one of our
lighting systems and they said, 'No problem; we already have a lighting
system here, and it's ready to go. We are going to help you install it.'
It gives me a great level of confidence if a conflict actually kicked
off to know we are going to be able to work together really well,"
Yoon said being trained in the same mission parameters and the strong
relations between ROK and U.S. forces helps overcome barriers, because
everyone is prepared for the operation's procedures.
The communication limitation is one of the biggest challenges to
overcome while working with coalition partners, but Yoon explained time
built into the planning ensures better coordination.
Narduzzi also explained everything takes longer to communicate across
multiple languages; however, the working relationships between coalition
partners help counter any issues arising from this limitation.
"Our offices and engineering units are structured very similarly," she
said. "They train on the same systems, and they train together, so all
our operations are very well coordinated."
Narduzzi said the experience of working with coalition partners helped
in furthering her understanding of the parameters of Key Resolve 15 and
how to operate in a real-world situation, which Yoon expanded upon while
reflecting on his own past experiences.
"I had a chance to do this kind of exercise in a field location before
being assigned here," Yoon said. "Back then, I had a short-sighted
vision of doing the entire exercise, but I've now had a chance to see
the U.S. Air Force concepts of the operation. I learned a lot from them
and was able to find ways to improve our operations. This was a really
good exercise to further that knowledge, and I learned a lot form my