PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — The U.S. Army’s South Korean laborers stationed at Camp Humphreys conducted a drill this week to test their ability to speedily set up and run a mobilization station in case of a sudden outbreak of war.

The 22nd Korean Service Corps Company at Camp Humphreys is part of the 8th U.S. Army’s Korean Service Corps Battalion, headquartered at Camp Kim in Seoul and led by a small number of U.S. Army personnel.

The battalion’s 2,185 Korean civilian employees are stationed at U.S. military installations around the peninsula.

In wartime, they serve as noncombatants who recover bodies, haul supplies, drive ambulances, dig fighting positions and do other battlefield support jobs. In peacetime, they serve as mechanics, carpenters, drivers and in other jobs that are key to the day-to-day upkeep of U.S. military installations.

Four of the battalion’s 16 companies have the duty of holding annual mobilization exercises in their respective geographic areas — Seoul, Pyeongtaek, Daegu and Busan — using local public schools as mobilization stations, as they would in wartime.

In wartime, the battalion’s strength would surge to 22,133 laborers, comprising 157 companies.

The exercises are timed to coincide with the Korean school system’s winter and summer vacations.

The 22nd KSC Company’s mobilization exercise began Wednesday and was to end Friday, said the battalion’s Sgt. Maj. Josue Morales.

The first day saw the company’s personnel report, with their equipment, to the Pyongil Elementary School, about six miles south of Camp Humphreys. They then plunged into the process of turning the school into a mobilization station.

They set up generators, computers, various in-processing stations, machines for making ID cards and tags, and a supply point for issuing field gear.

"In reality, they should set it up within 24 to 48 hours, but since it’s a mobex, they do it in that first day," Morales said.

During a nationwide military call-up, those assigned to KSC duty would be ordered to report to a specified mobilization station. There, KSC cadre would pass them through a series of medical, administrative and supply stations, and house and feed them until they were to be transported to their newly assigned companies.

On Thursday, the KSCs practiced various mobilization station tasks. On Friday, other KSCs were to role-play as mobilees who show up and work their way through the station.

Also Friday, some leaders were to be tested on how they react to problems that can arise during an actual mobilization.

The exercise ends with a formal after-action review.

The KSC company in Busan will holds its mobex Jan. 20 to Jan. 22, and the company in Daegu will exercise Feb. 24 to Feb. 26, Morales said.

He said unit commanders and others in the U.S. military who want to observe those exercises are invited to do so on Jan. 21 or Feb. 25. Visits can be arranged by calling DSN 724-4562, Morales said.

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