Osan's Airfield Damage Repair team exercises with Republic of Korea Air Force

Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea -- Airmen of the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron airfield damage repair team participated in a combined-rapid-runway-repair-training exercise August 19, with the Republic of Korea Air Force's 19th Tactical Fighter Wing and 91st Air Civil Engineer Group at Jungwon Air Base, Republic of Korea.

"This is the first time 51st CES has participated in this kind of exercise or training with the ROKAF," said Master Sgt. Christopher Belknap, 51st CES non-commissioned officer in charge of structures. 

The exercise scenario was the airfield was hit by two scud missiles or mortar rounds. The ROKAF and USAF personnel had to come together as one, to repair the damaged airfield as quickly as possible and get planes back into the fight.

During the exercise 93 members from the 91st ACEG, 19th TAW and 51st CES filled two craters at the same time. The 91st ACEG supplied the engineer support while the 51st CES team was in charge of the folded fiberglass mat team and measuring the compaction quality of one of the two craters. 

With the help of more than 40 pieces of equipment and 107 people, the craters were completed in two and a half hours; however, that's not all the team accomplished during the mission.

"The significance of 51st CES efforts clearly had a positive impact," said Maj. Bradley Johnson 51st CES operations flight commander. "They demonstrated techniques and procedures that will enhance how our ROKAF partners recover their bases. Moreover, their professionalism strengthened relations with our host nation comrades. I believe we came back with a better understanding of how the ROKAF operates and took away some good nuggets that we can apply to improve our processes."

He went on to say the two units plan to continue combined training operations to standardize and strengthen both sides in the future.

The runway repair training was part of the peninsula wide exercise called Ulchi Freedom Guardian, a joint, combined exercise that began August 10 and brought more than 550 military members to the Republic of Korea.