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Taking the defense; Air defenders unit with AF in joint defense of South Korea

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Soldiers from Fort Bliss, Texas started to replace the previous battery here May 6 and assumed the Charlie Battery, 2nd Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment mission June 10.

Working closely with the Air Force and dedicating a lot of time and energy to the defense of their host nation are two of the Soldiers main challenges.

“[Charlie] Battery has an incredibly fast operations tempo and will have many demands placed on them, but I am positive they will perform above the standard,” said Capt. Roger Delahunt, Charlie Battery commander.

The Soldiers arrived fully prepared to handle the tempo after training for six months at their home station located in El Paso, Texas.

After receiving orders to deploy, the battery immediately began to train in a multitude of different areas. They then used the training to pass a mission readiness exercise. The captain said that along with the exercise, the biggest training event they participated in was the Patriot gunnery certification, proving the soldiers are experts on their weapons system.

Being experts on their weapons system was a mandatory requirement before assuming the mission here, but being experts at dealing with a joint Air Force and Army environment is something they have to learn once their boots are on the ground.

“The majority of my Soldiers have never served in a multi-force environment,” said 1st Sgt. Jonathan Cruz, Charlie Battery. “Soldiers and Airman will learn from each other as they train together.”

With Peninsula Combat Employment Readiness Exercises, joint training opportunities happen on a continual basis.

The joint environment also offers opportunities for some friendly competition.

“Charlie Battery Soldiers actively participate in organized sports with the Air Force,” the first sergeant said. “My Soldiers are very competitive and proud of the job they do. Their high standards and state of readiness is a challenge to others to emulate and attempt to surpass.”