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sm170823-Z-ZZ999-364Members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (MPAD) work with their Republic of Korea (ROK) counterparts during Ulchi Freedom Guardian Aug. 23. Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) is computer-simulated defensive exercise designed to enhance readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula. Approximately 17,500 total U.S. service members participated in the exercise, with approximately 3,000 from off-peninsula. U.S. forces joined ROK military forces from major ROK units representing all services, as well as ROK government participants. In addition to the ROK and U.S. forces, UN Command forces from seven sending states, including Australia, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, participated in this UFG. In addition, Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission observers monitored the exercise to ensure compliance with the Armistice Agreement for the Restoration of the South Korean State (1953). Training exercises like UFG are carried out in the spirit of the Oct. 1, 1953, ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty and in accordance with the Armistice. These exercises also highlight the longstanding military partnership, commitment and enduring friendship between the two nations, help to ensure peace and security on the peninsula, and reaffirm U.S. commitment to the Alliance. 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment photo

A team of three Soldiers with the Wisconsin National Guard's 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment deployed to Florida Thursday in response to Hurricane Irma, just two weeks after returning from Korea where they participated in a major international exercise.

Ulchi Freedom Guardian, also known as UFG, is a routine, defense-oriented annual exercise developed around realistic scenarios designed to defend the Republic of Korea, protect the region, and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula. Sixteen Soldiers with the MPAD participated in the exercise in South Korea Aug. 21-31.

About a week after returning from Korea where they trained to fulfill their mission as part of America's primary combat reserve, Soldiers from the MPAD were back in the armory, repacking their bags, prepared to respond in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in their role as the nation's first military responder.

sm170823-Z-ZZ999-354Maj. Joy Staab and members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (MPAD) work with their Republic of Korea (ROK) counterparts during Ulchi Freedom Guardian Aug. 23. Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) is computer-simulated defensive exercise designed to enhance readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula. Approximately 17,500 total U.S. service members participated in the exercise, with approximately 3,000 from off-peninsula. U.S. forces joined ROK military forces from major ROK units representing all services, as well as ROK government participants. In addition to the ROK and U.S. forces, UN Command forces from seven sending states, including Australia, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, participated in this UFG. In addition, Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission observers monitored the exercise to ensure compliance with the Armistice Agreement for the Restoration of the South Korean State (1953). Training exercises like UFG are carried out in the spirit of the Oct. 1, 1953, ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty and in accordance with the Armistice. These exercises also highlight the longstanding military partnership, commitment and enduring friendship between the two nations, help to ensure peace and security on the peninsula, and reaffirm U.S. commitment to the Alliance. 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment photo

The team of MPAD Soldiers deployed to Florida where they will use what they learned in Korea to complete their mission responding to Hurricane Irma as the first military responders in the homeland, Staab said.

The Soldiers are providing public affairs support to the approximately 650 Wisconsin troops already in Florida assisting with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

"Our mission in Korea helped us prepare for our State Active Duty mission, by providing us with the opportunity to work collaboratively in a high operational tempo environment," said Maj. Joy Staab, 112th MPAD commander. "We trained with multiple organizations, while ensuring personnel safety and mission accomplishment."

Soldiers from the 112th joined approximately 3,000 personnel from the U.S. and bases in the Pacific region, as well as multi-national representatives from the United Nations augmenting American and Republic of Korea (ROK) forces during the exercise. In total, approximately 17,500 U.S. Service Members participated, reaffirming the United States' commitment to the U.S.-ROK Alliance.

sm170824-Z-ZZ999-386Spc. Tianna Field, a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (MPAD), produces a video shoot during Ulchi Freedom Guardian Aug. 23. Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) is computer-simulated defensive exercise designed to enhance readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula. Approximately 17,500 total U.S. service members participated in the exercise, with approximately 3,000 from off-peninsula. U.S. forces joined ROK military forces from major ROK units representing all services, as well as ROK government participants. In addition to the ROK and U.S. forces, UN Command forces from seven sending states, including Australia, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, participated in this UFG. In addition, Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission observers monitored the exercise to ensure compliance with the Armistice Agreement for the Restoration of the South Korean State (1953). Training exercises like UFG are carried out in the spirit of the Oct. 1, 1953, ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty and in accordance with the Armistice. These exercises also highlight the longstanding military partnership, commitment and enduring friendship between the two nations, help to ensure peace and security on the peninsula, and reaffirm U.S. commitment to the Alliance. 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment photo

The Wisconsin unit was tasked with supporting Media Operation Center operations with their 8th Army counterparts during the exercise. The mission also involved working directly with Korean Augmentations to the United States Army and ROK soldiers.

“Working with the active component, especially 8th Army, was eye-opening to the capabilities of our active counterparts and the operational tempo of their daily work environment,” said Staff Sgt. Alex Hughes. “That, partnered with our chance to work with ROK soldiers as well, was a phenomenal team-building opportunity, and only increased our respect for our allies and our shared mission. It spoke to the scope of what our team of service members can accomplish when we work together.”

UFG provided the MPAD with unique training and experience within the scopes of their federal mission as the primary combat reserve for the United States Army. Now they will continue putting those skills to use in their domestic role in Florida.

“It was great experience for the Soldiers to see what their training is working up to,” Hughes said of the experience in Korea. “We aim to take these capabilities home with us to support our state, our communities, and the Wisconsin Army National Guard.”

The training exercise honed Soldiers' public affairs skills, and showed their character and willingness to step up while facing adversity, she added.

The Wisconsin National Guard continues to play an active role in global security operations even in the midst of actively supporting domestic missions here in Wisconsin and Florida. Approximately 270 Airmen from the 115th Fighter Wing deployed to Korea in August, while 110 Airmen from the 128th Air Control Squadron deployed to Southwest Asia in May, and approximately 150 Soldiers and fellow aviators from the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation deployed to Kuwait last spring. However, even with the mobilization to Florida, more than 8,000 additional Soldiers and Airmen from the Wisconsin National Guard remain ready and available to serve our state and nation, if needed.

 

 


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