OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea – Exercise Beverly Herd 17-1 kicked off on Feb. 26, during which the 51st Fighter Wing Mustangs and their partner units will train on a variety of different objectives.
The U.S. and ROK will meet desired learning objectives to defend the base from attacks, execute combat operations, and sustain the force through demonstrated ability to survive and operate during continued operations.
In addition, the U.S. and ROK will practice command and control of combat air support missions and combined Joint Terminal Attack Controller integration. This will be the first time since the Republic of Korea signed the international JTAC Program Memorandum of Agreement that the U.S. and ROK will practice combined JTAC operations.
The exercise, which is scheduled to last through March 3, will see an intensification of flying schedules while ground forces practice readiness and responsiveness to events ranging from attacks to demonstrating extended survivability.
“We hold exercises like this every quarter to make sure our forces are ready to ‘Fight Tonight,’” said Col. Andrew Hansen, 51st FW commander. “From executing flying operations to practicing how we would sustain our forces during contingencies, exercises such as Beverly Herd enable us to continue enhancing our readiness to protect and defend the Korean peninsula.”
A large part of Osan's ability to respond at a moment’s notice is providing air power to combatant commanders. When air support is requested, it’s up to 51st Maintenance Group personnel to generate aircraft and prepare them for takeoff, requiring the coordination of all three squadrons under the group.
“The generation of aircraft during an exercise allows maintenance and munitions personnel to demonstrate our capability to effectively and efficiently deliver combat air power with limited-to-no notice,” said Maj. Anthony Bryant, 51st Maintenance Squadron commander.
In addition to practicing generation of aircraft, firefighters from the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron responded to a simulated warehouse wood fire with multiple injuries. Once evacuated by the firefighters, medics from the 51st Medical Squadron stepped in to simulate treatment and rush critical condition patients to the emergency room.
“While specific goals during our exercises may vary, our overall goal remains the same,” Hansen said. “We strive to take every opportunity to strengthen the alliance with our Republic of Korea air force partners to ensure we’re ready to defend the base and execute operations with confidence and precision. We train like we fight: together.”