Korea Service Corps focus of joint briefing
December 29, 2003
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — As part of ongoing training efforts, South Korean and U.S. soldiers held their first joint briefing on the Wartime Host Nation Support program, which directs how military and civilian resources would be used in a crisis or war on the peninsula.
The briefing, held earlier this month at Yongsan Garrison, brought together officers and noncommissioned officers from the U.S. Army’s 34th Support Group and various divisions of the Republic of Korea army.
Officials plan on following up on the briefing with other units.
“I hope this can set some standards for other WHNS groups. This time the briefing was for the senior NCOs and officers, but next year we plan to have a program for the soldiers that are staff sergeants and below,” said Capt. Song Huynh, the 34th Support Group WHNS officer in charge, in a military news release.
“It is important for leadership to understand the program, but it is as much important for the lower enlisted to understand as well.”
The briefing centered on how South Korea would provide for the reception, staging, forward movement and sustainment of U.S. forces in times of crisis. The briefing was conducted by Lt. Col. Patrick Kelly, chief of the U.S. Forces Korea WHNS branch.
After the briefing, the soldiers visited the 19th and 9th Korean Service Corps companies at Yongsan Garrison.
Korea Service Corps companies are comprised of workers who would help dig fighting positions, recover bodies and complete other support tasks during war. During peacetime, the companies serve as mechanics, drivers and carpenters, among other jobs.
Within two days of being mobilized, the KSC battalions would be sent out from their home stations to U.S. military units throughout the theater.
Each year, two-day exercises at various locations in South Korea are held to help the KSC troops hone their skills. They set up mobilization stations where wartime conscripts would receive initial equipment, training and administrative items.
Mobilized troops would pass through the stations and be given everything from field and chemical gear to identification cards and a health check-up.
In wartime, as the South Korean government drafted civilians to military duty, it would assign some 24,000 conscripts to the KSC battalions, along with 800 South Korean Army Reserve officers in 162 separate companies, officials have said.