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Posted 4/26/2011

Release no. 09-11


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By Honolulu District Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER, HI -- Honolulu District’s 565th Engineer Detachment Forward Engineer Support Team-Advance (FEST-A) joined forces with Baltimore District’s FEST-A (71st Eng. Det.) at the 2011 Key Resolve exercise in South Korea to develop a preliminary contingency bed down plan for use in potential future U.S. forces missions. Held in conjunction with the annual field exercise Foal Eagle, Key Resolve is a command post exercise that enables the Republic of Korea-U.S. alliance to hone the skills needed to deter aggression against South Korea or to fight and win, if necessary.

Honolulu District’s 565th Engineer Detachment Forward Engineer Support Team-Advance (FEST-A) joined forces with Baltimore District’s FEST-A (71st Eng. Det.) at the 2011 Key Resolve exercise in South Korea to develop a preliminary contingency bed down plan for use in potential future U.S. forces missions. Held in conjunction with the annual field exercise Foal Eagle, Key Resolve is a command post exercise that enables the Republic of Korea-U.S. alliance to hone the skills needed to deter aggression against South Korea or to fight and win, if necessary.

The 565th and 71st Engineer Detachments are two of the eight FEST-A within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Due to recent departures of personnel, the 565th wasn’t fully staffed to support the Key Resolve mission. To remedy the shortfall, select members from the Baltimore FEST-A were used to augment the Honolulu team to support the mission.

The Baltimore team members brought a unique work experience and skill set to the table. “It was a valuable experience to share knowledge and techniques with another FEST-A and successfully work toward a common goal,” said 565th Engineer Detachment Mechanical Engineer Jon Hosaka.

According to Hosaka, the joint FEST-A mission was “to conduct a critical infrastructure survey at Gwang Ju Air Base, South Korea, develop a preliminary contingency bed down plan to support a significant increase of base personnel, and to prepare a plan to upgrade existing defense facilities.”

Hosaka added that the addition of Baltimore’s FEST-A Courtney Millburn was invaluable as he was a member of a FEST team that previously completed a similar mission at Suwan Air Base, South Korea.

“The experience he brought in from that exercise, along with his computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) expertise, was invaluable to the success of the Gwang Ju mission,” said Hosaka.

Hosaka added that the op tempo of the fast-paced Key Resolve mission was “a great team building and bonding experience” for the newly formed Honolulu FEST. In the past FESTs have participated on varying missions to support the annual Key Resolve exercises and have traditionally rotated areas of responsibilities and missions.

“In 2010 when the Honolulu FEST participated in the Cobra Gold exercise (Thailand), the Baltimore FEST participated in Key Resolve. This year military planners reversed the areas of responsibility,” said Hosaka.

For this year’s exercise the 565th spent the first week in Seoul at the Corps’ Far East District compound where team members were trained by instructors from USACE Reachback Operations Center, Vicksburg, MS (UROC) and Readiness Support Center, Mobile, AL (RSC) on various Field Force Engineering (FFE) equipment and programs to include the Automated Route Reconnaissance Kit (ARRK), Tele-engineering Communication Equipment – Deployed (TCED), the It Knows Everything (IKE) and the Theatre Construction Management System (TCMS).

Following training the FEST deployed to Gwang Ju Air Base to conduct the exercise survey work.

Hosaka explained that the areas of focus for in-the-field site surveys are defined by the acronym SWEAT-MSO – which refers to the major categories of infrastructure reconnaissance; Sewer, Water, Electricity, Electrical, Academics, Trash - Medical, Safety and Other Considerations. For the Key Resolve exercise the categories of Academics, Medical and Safety were not covered.

The FESTs formed five teams to evaluate Sewer (lead David Nishimura), Water (lead Jon Hosaka), Electrical (lead Craig Rodgers), Trash (lead Arlene Weiner), and Space Utilization (lead Patrick “Mike” Bruse and SFC Colleen Hatfield), while also partnering with representatives from 7th Air Force, Gwang Ju Base Maintenance Contractor (BMC) and the 607th Material Maintenance Squadron.

“For the final days of the mission, we (the team) finalized and submitted the technical report and out briefed our customer, 7th Air Force at Osan Air Base,” Hosaka said.

According to Mike Bruse from the Honolulu FEST-A, the “customer (7th AF) was very pleased with the product the team prepared and commented that it was the best FEST-A report they had received.”