ROKAF cadets learn US Patriot missile anatomy
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Nearly 100 ROK Air Force cadets visited Delta Battery of the 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment here, January 21 as part of the ongoing 7th Air Force partnership program.
"This is the second time I have had the privilege of hosting the alliance program between the ROK Air Force cadets and our command," said Capt. Christine Gant, the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade fire coordination officer. "It's exciting to see their interest spike once we are able to physically show them our Patriot missile system."
The 35th ADA provides air and missile defense in the region, a key component to the alliance's ability to fight tonight, said Gant.
During the visit, the cadets received a lesson in the anatomy of the Patriot missile system.
"This system is a lot like the human body," said 2nd Lt. James Chambers, an air defense platoon leader. "The antenna mass group acts as the ears."
"The electrical power plant is the heart," he continued.
The engagement control system, a mobile command post, is the brains of the operation, Chambers explained.
"The Patriot missiles themselves are the fists," he said.
As impressive as the Patriot missile system is, it is the friendship between the two nations' service members that make the alliance so successful, said Chambers.
The future of the U.S./ROK alliance hinges on the strong relationships built in visits like today's.
"It was a privilege to host these cadets from the ROK Air Force," said Lt. Col. Michael Brandt, the 35th ADA deputy commander. "This was a great opportunity to give them an up-close and personal look at our theater missile defense 'tip of the spear' capabilities postured here on the Peninsula."
The ROKAF cadets agree.
"I would like it very much to work with the U.S. forces and to have the chance to step forward with our relationship in the future," said Dong-min Hwang, a senior ROKAF cadet.
"It's very important that we continue to build upon this relationship to keep our forces strong," he said.