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Missouri National Guardsmen to do joint training mission in South Korea
Missouri National Guardsmen to do joint training mission in South Korea

Sgt. Maj. William Porter
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Feb. 11, 2010) — Twelve Missouri National Guardsmen from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 35th Engineer Brigade are scheduled to travel to Korea for their annual training in March.

“Every March since the mid-90s there has been a joint exercise between the Republic of Korea and United States military,” said Sgt. Maj. William Porter, who will be the 35th’s senior noncommissioned officer at the annual training event. “It’s more or less a command-post type of exercise and it lasts for two weeks. We are one of the minor players dealing with the engineer support in the exercise.”

Known as Key Resolve, the annual joint exercise is a computer-based simulation of how the United States and South Korea would work together in the event of an attack. More than 13,000 troops from outside of South Korea were involved in the exercise last year.

This is the second consecutive year the brigade as participated in the training.

Porter, the brigade’s engineer operations sergeant major, said the event should prove to be a good learning experience for the Guardsmen, who will be under the command of Lt. Col. James Branson, the brigade’s communications and signal officer.

“We’re there to improve our training with war fighting techniques and staff operation,” Porter said. “We’ll also be working for an Army Reserve senior engineer command.”

The unit will fly from St. Louis to Seoul, South Korea, before they travel by bus to Camp Carroll, South Korea. The exercise, however, will go on throughout the entire country.

The brigade’s responsibility will mainly be command and control.

“A lot of what it entails is the tracking and coordination of engineer units and the engineer effort on the battlefield,” said Porter, who lives in St. Louis. “That includes all types of engineering, from combat engineering to general construction, planning and coordinating movement of engineer units, and assigning engineer units to support certain missions — anything from an engineering standpoint.”

Porter said the unit will travel light with all the equipment they’ll need already being in place.

“We use the actual pieces that we would be there if we were to go there in real-world situation,” Porter said. “That’s one way we judge whether or not we have what we need or not. If not, we make sure that during the next year we provide for it.”

The exercise was originally known as Team Spirit until 1993 when it changed to Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration and then later to Key Resolve in 2008.

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