AF defenders, SKorea soldiers train to fend off opposing forces

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Dillian Bamman
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Defending the men and women of Osan Air Base is one challenge to the 51st Security Forces Squadron, but defending an entire country is quite another.

To bring a force multiplier to the table, the 51st SFS defenders trained with South Korean army special operations forces during a training scenario May 11 as part of the Beverly Herd 16-01 exercise.

“We test our defenders by teaching them different ways attacks can happen, as well as strengthening our bonds with our (South Korean) counterparts,” said Tech. Sgt. Swen Swearingen, the 51st SFS NCO in charge of armistice plans.

The South Korean special operators were transported to Osan AB via HH-60P Pave Hawks earlier in the day. While at the base, their goal was to increase interoperability with the security forces for combat operation readiness.

“In a real situation, we need as much support to defend the base as possible,” Swearingen said. “They come down to help us out and give us a unique toolset to aide in our defense.

“While there is a sizeable language barrier between the two forces, they still get it done,” he added. “But when shots start getting fired, that language barrier doesn’t matter; it’s all about taking care of each other and completing the mission.”

The joint forces simulated live fire, and the shoot, move and communicate actions to thwart opposing forces, which consisted of Airmen new to the base.

“Participating in OPFOR, you get a small taste of what you’ll be dealing with during your year stay here at Osan,” Swearingen said. “They see how our on-duty defenders respond to incidents, and hopefully bring an outside perspective to the fight.”

Airman 1st Class Samantha Flores, a 51st SFS fire team member, participated in the OPFOR program and caught her first glimpse of the base’s readiness.

“This exercise is a lot more interactive than what I’ve experienced in the past,” she said. “It was fun as well as informative. I got to see what to look forward to in the year ahead.”