Air Force works with South Korean military during exercise
By Ryan Mattox
SEOUL, South Korea -- For the son of a Demopolis woman, staying combat ready at his base on the south side of the Korean DMZ is an everyday event. But during a two-week period, recently, he and other forces here took that training to a completely new level.
Air Force Maj. Terralus Lowe, son of Elmyra Besteder of Demopolis, participated in a peninsula-wide exercise called Key Resolve/Foal Eagle 2010. The exercise is intended to sharpen the combined and joint warfighting skills of U.S. and South Korean service members. The first of two major exercises in Korea occurs around the same time every year, involving South Korean and U.S. air, land and naval forces.
“I am the chief of strategy plans here at Seventh Air Force,” said Lowe, who is an air component strategy planner with the 607 th Air and Space Operations Center, Osan Air Base, South Korea. “As a member of the strategy division, I develop the planning guidance that the commander uses to direct the employment of airpower throughout the Korean theater of operation.”
To stand ready and help keep his combative edge, Lowe and other service members in Korea regularly use these exercises to maintain that edge. Key Resolve/Foal Eagle is part of an annual series of major exercises, focusing on defending South Korea from a North Korean attack.
“This exercise is important because it helps demonstrate the alliance’s readiness in the event of war or provocation from North Korea,” said Lowe, who graduated in 1992 from Demopolis High School. “The ultimate objective of the South Korean and U.S. alliance remains peace and stability in the Far East, but we remain prepared to respond in case of crisis.”
This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War that broke out when the North Korean Communist troops invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950, in an effort to overtake the entire Korean peninsula. Since then U.S. and Korean forces have worked together through these exercises to build a working relationship and bring stability to the area. However, it is because of these exercises that both countries have also agreed to transfer wartime operational control to the Korean military on April 17, 2012.
“The South Korean and U.S. alliance is one of the strongest in the world,” said Lowe, who is a 1996 Grambling State University graduate in Grambling, La. “The peninsula exercises are just one avenue for building partnerships and enhancing interoperability between our militaries.”
Even though training for the possibility of war lies in the back of Lowe’s mind and others, participating in this exercise, visiting or having the opportunity of being stationed and living here can bring unique experiences for service members and their families to enjoy.
“My family and I enjoy Korea’s unique culture and beautiful scenery,” said Lowe. “In fact, we’ve enjoyed this assignment so much that we have extended our stay.”
For these two weeks, participation in exercises like Key Resolve/Foal Eagle have helped Lowe and his South Korean counterparts learn their roles in maintaining their preparedness and build key relationships as together they defend the country from aggression from the North.