RSO&I, Foal Eagle strengthen alliance Published March 29, 2007 By Lt. Col. Michael Shavers 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- More than 250 Airmen and hundreds of other augmentees from the Marines, Army and Navy converged on Osan this week to participate in the 12th annual Reception, Staging, Onward-movement and Integration/Foal Eagle exercise. The exercise tests the military's ability to deploy multi-service U.S. forces to the Korean peninsula. The major goal of the exercise is seamless and timely integration of personnel and equipment to support combined military operations. Osan's 7th Air Force and Air Component Command provides the airpower for the yearly exercise. "RSO&I gives both the U.S. and the Korean military an opportunity to work together and strengthen an alliance that has existed on the peninsula for more than 50 years," said Lt. Gen. Stephen Wood, 7th Air Force and Air Component Command commander. "Each year that we practice this, we improve our ability to conduct combat operations and integrate follow-on forces," General Wood said. "We hope we never have to do this for real but are prepared to execute the mission if called upon." RSO&I challenged the capabilities of Osan, 7th Air Force and other service components to receive, stage, move forward and integrate combat forces. This capability is key to successfully defending the Republic of Korea. "The 51st Fighter Wing is acting as the host wing for the Air Component Command and contributed 62 augmentees to the exercise," said Brig. Gen. Joe Reynes, 51st Fighter Wing commander. "Participating in the exercise is a great training opportunity for the wing." For the Air Component Command, the nerve center for the exercise was the Hardened Theater Air Control Center. This facility, one of five Falconer Air Operations Centers in the world, was fully manned and operational. The exercise also included simulated combat operations and ability-to-survive-and-operate drills. To make the scenario even more challenging, the 51st Fighter Wing and 8th Fighter Wing also conducted combat exercises during the week. Republic of Korea and U.S. forces participating in this exercise strengthened their readiness and gained planning expertise. During the week-long exercise, the forces reacted to different situational training scenarios that were designed to improve speed of response, mission effectiveness, interoperability and unity of effort. This type of integrated and combined training helps to ensure the right mix of personnel and equipment at the right place and time and builds a cadre of servicemembers in both countries who have the experience to perform this mission if required. "The lessons learned from RSO&I puts us one step closer to transforming and modernizing the alliance into an even stronger, more capable partnership," said General Wood.