US Troops aid ROK in Move

By Pfc. Abel Trevino
28th Public Affairs Detachment

U.S. Soldiers, Marines and Airmen successfully completed the task of moving Republic of Korea Army troops, vehicles and equipment from Nasiriyah to Irbil from July 18 to 21.

Ninety-two military engineers from the ROK Army's Irbil Facility Preparation Team were escorted by Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment on an 800-kilometer route that took them through the middle of Iraq toward the Green Line.

The Green Line delineates an area of northern Iraq, which is primarily Kurdish and has operated autonomously from the Iraqi government since 1991. The ROK Army engineers are preparing a hospital site in Irbil, north of the Green Line at the foothills of the eastern mountains.

Getting the soldiers there was a joint effort, including Soldiers from the Army's 513th Transportation Company, 16th Military Police Brigade and 1st Infantry Division, as well as Marines and Airmen.

"There was a lot of coordination between all the corps and area support groups under the 13th [Corps Support Command]. The staff maintained flexibility throughout because there were so many changes. [But] the vision didn't change," said Lt. Col. James Carroll, Chief of Operations for 13th Corps Support Command. "It was a pretty fluid battlefield. [Units] were able to react quickly and efficiently; Soldiers understood the mission and were able to adapt."

The coordination was noticed on the frontline of the convoy.

"I was rather impressed with the way it came together," said Sgt. 1st Class Ashton B. Cannon from Alpha Troop, 1st Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt. "The Marine Corps provided additional guntrucks we hadn't counted on. I was quite impressed with how it all worked."

Cooperation between the coalition partners contributed to the mission's success.

"The mission went well. The troopers did a fine job," said Capt. Luther Ron Johnson, A Troop, 1st Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt.

Before leaving Nasiriyah, while loading the Korean vehicles and equipment onto flatbed trailers, the 513th Transportation Company faced the last-minute challenges of planning: more vehicles were to be hauled via truck instead of driven. Reacting quickly, the company rectified the problem allowing the convoy to leave without delay. Flexibility and the ability to overcome small problems helped the ROK army arrive at their destination in a safely and on time.

"We made it there safe. We made it back safe," said Spc. Charles Pineda, a forward observer for A Troop.

Units such as the 1st Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt. and the 16th MP Bde. are normally the security element for convoys, but with their resources being used for the movement of the Korean army, the 172nd and 167th Corps Support Groups took their place to continue providing security for convoys at LSA Anaconda.

"Not only did we provide lift assets to move the ROK army, while that lift was taking place, we had guntrucks take the place of [security elements] because [the security elements] were moving the ROK," Carroll said. "[The mission] is important not only because we pushed the ROK movement north, but [the 13th COSCOM] was able to push our sustainment and reorganize and continue to function while moving the ROK."

More than 1,000 Republic of Korea soldiers are expected to move into the Irbil province providing humanitarian aid and support for Iraq.

Editor's note: Pfc. Trevino is assigned to the 28th Public Affairs Detachment. He is currently deployed to LSA Anaconda, Balad, Iraq supporting the 13th Corps Support Command.


news photo
Convoy moving Republic of Korea Army troops