FSS flexes beddown muscles during ORE

by 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Osan Air Base

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- At Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, quarterly operational readiness exercises are intended to test, build, and hone an alert mentality in its Airmen. During the most recent exercise, Beverly Midnight 15-01, the base services and sustainment team in the Force Support Squadron had a very realistic test in receiving and sustaining follow-on forces.

Standardly, the men and women of the FSS fitness center and lodging teams are responsible for the upkeep of their facilities, making them inviting and available for personnel around the base. During an emergency, however, their roles change as they're also responsible for the beddown and sustainment of follow-on forces. When BM 15-01 was forthcoming in tandem with another peninsula-wide exercise, and it became apparent that the standard facilities wouldn't be enough, the FSS had to make room, elsewhere, in an unconventional venue.

"We have to have a place to beddown follow on forces," said Capt. Bernard Harper, 51st Force Support Squadron sustainment services flight commander. "When we have max occupancy, then we have to find other ways to bed them down. One of those options was to use the fitness center, which has a lot of open space."

Setting up in the fitness center included making some portions of the 24-hour-a-day facility off-limits, and preparing the area to be slept and lived in by more than 200 people. Preparing the gymnasium to become home for so many people involved a lot of effort among the fitness center and base lodging staffs. Harper said the efforts were successful.

"It's been successful because of a team effort, especially with the set up and lay out," said Harper. "The process was entirely smooth, and the collected effort between our fitness center staff and lodging to help set that up worked great. This is the first time in recent memory when we tested this ability and that it was so successful speaks to the ability of our team."

The reception and sustainment of follow-on forces is an essential element of the role Team Osan plays in defending freedom in the ROK. It provides the base with essential personnel and stability, even in the event of an emergency.

"It's very important because, our job, as force support had to make sure everybody is bedded down," said Harper. "When we have extra forces we need to make sure they're taken care of so they can execute the mission."

The success of this capability not only buttresses the base's capability to accept follow-on forces, but also can help with non-combatant evacuation operations on base. Ultimately, the success of this test proves the FSS beddown team is prepared and capable of operating in a constantly malleable environment.

"This is just another way to test our capabilities and help the team," said Harper. "We all know we have to stay ready and sharpening our skills during exercises like these helps prepare us to work better on a daily basis."

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