Partnership enhances mission readiness in PACUNITY 16

GWANGJU AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Airmen from bases throughout the Pacific and the Republic of Korea counterparts came together to enhance their skills and ongoing relationship during Pacific Unity 16 held at Gwangju Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 30 to June 3, 2016.

PACUNITY is a U.S. Pacific Command event focused on improving Theater Security Cooperation within the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The operation builds partnerships and promotes interoperability by creating an environment where civil engineers can work together and exchange experiences. Engineers from the U.S. and Republic of Korea discussed and worked together in several areas such as emergency management, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, general engineering, environmental security and energy conversation.

The civil engineers teamed up to complete an airfield damage repair scenario testing the team's ability to restore a runway to operational status as quickly as possible.

The scenario simulated a successful attack on a mock airstrip, leaving two large craters rendering the runway inoperable. Working as a team, the engineers labored to repair the craters, excavate and fill and reestablish the airfield lighting system.

“The exercise is part of a Pacific Air Forces engagement program training on rapid runway repair promoting ADR interoperability,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Trent Bolte, 7th Air Force chief of plans and readiness at Osan Air Base, RoK. “Being able to work with RoK in a complex and time sensitive environment is crucial to generating the aircraft flying mission.”

Communication is critical and one of the biggest challenges when military personnel from different countries come together for common goal. Korean translators provided aid among the teams to help in the understanding of the different tactics, techniques, and procedures.

Training like this provides an environment where Airmen assigned to the Pacific can work together and exchange experiences.

“It’s great working with our RoK counterparts and knowing they're just as dedicated as we are to the mission,” said Senior Airman Dylan Pera, 8th Civil Engineer Squadron, “Seeing how hard working they are and how ready to respond is a nice thing.”

The PACUNITY exercise supports PACAF’s mission to build interoperability and partnership capacity in the region and build overall mission readiness.