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By Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Sym, Naval Station Newport Public Affairs
July 18, 2013

NEWPORT, R.I. -- Navy and Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force Reservists participated in the Korea United 2013 (KU13) wargaming exercise July 12-14 at the Naval War College (NWC), Naval Station (NAVSTA) Newport.

The three-day exercise familiarized the more than 290 participating Reservists with the tenets of strategic and operational level planning.

The exercise facilitated the decision-making process specific to the Korean Peninsula region by deploying single-sided, two-move scenarios.

"We are very pleased with the increase in interest and participation in KU each year," said Cmdr. Marc Lederer, commanding officer, U.S. Forces Korea, Det. 102, whose unit has organized the annual KU exercises since 1995. 

"This exercise gives us all the opportunity to increase our knowledge, awareness and capabilities to support this strategically important region of the world," Lederer said.

Players were assigned various staff planning roles at the Combined Forces commander or subordinate commander levels to identify, assess, coordinate and recommend actions to be taken by the commander.

Exercise scenarios were based on current political and military situations enabling participants to "test and train" and make operational decisions under real-world conditions.

Reservists representing commands and units from California to Maine, Japan and South Korea participated in this year's exercise.

Seven flag and general officers participated in the exercise including Rear Adm. George Ballance, director of Theater Engagement (J7), USSOUTHCOM; Maj. Gen. Jimmie Jaye Wells, commanding general, 75th Training Command, USAR; and Maj. Gen. Glenn Lesinak, U.S. Army Reserve Command, deputy commanding general-support.

Participants were divided into logistics, intelligence, and operations planning cells and capitalized on each player's rate, designator and specialization.

Throughout the next three days, every Sailor, Soldier, Marine and Airman was intensely engaged in chat rooms, responding to emails, on the phone, and providing constant updates to the Theater Operations Center.

In addition to the on-the-job training, participants were also privy to lectures provided by subject matter experts including War College professors Terry Roehrig and Richard Crowell. Topics included the Korean Theatre of Operations, North Korean government and politics and cyberspace operations.

At the conclusion of the war games, new and veteran gamers agreed that KU13 was a unique and valuable training evolution.

"We could not have provided this outstanding experience without the support of the War College," said Lt. Cmdr. Katie Sheldon, wargaming director for U.S. Forces Korea, Det. 102.

"It takes almost of year of planning to launch a successful KU exercise. We are very proud of our unit's officers and Sailors who contributed to making this year an outstanding success," Sheldon said.