Reflections from Navy Reservists during Key Resolve 2013

Active-duty Navy and civil service personnel, along with 30 deployed Reserve Sailors from MSC-affiliated units, completed their role in exercise Key Resolve, March 21. Key Resolve is one of two annual Korean-peninsula defense exercises and MSC plays a vital role during the exercise by managing the massive influx of dry cargo ships and fuel tankers should a real-world crisis erupt. This year, Reserve Sailors augmented permanent staff members in Singapore, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The following blog post, compiled by MSC Far East public affairs, details a first-hand account from two Navy Reservists who particpated in this year’s exercise.

Cote and Singleton

Navy Quartermaster Chief Sean Cote, MSC Far East Reserve Unit 101: When my commanding officer announced that I would be part of a nine-person team heading to Singapore for the exercise I was very excited.

Arriving in Singapore after a long flight from the U.S., the first thing I noticed was the friendly and courteous nature of the Singaporean people. They treated us with their own unique brand of hospitality and respect so I felt right at home from day one.

Reporting to the command the following morning, I was assigned as a watch officer at the Crisis Action Team (CAT) cell for the duration of the exercise. Ultimately, our role was to ensure the safe and efficient passage of MSC ships to the Korean peninsula.

At the CAT, we tracked hundreds of MSC ships across the vast U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility in around-the-clock operations—working closely with staff from Commander, Task Force 73 throughout the exercise. CTF-73 is MSC Far East’s operational commander and is co-located at Sembawang Wharves

Overall, I was impressed by the intricate planning that went on behind the scenes in safely moving these vessels around. Managing this many ships at one time is a herculean effort and it truly takes team work to make it all happen. Actual MSC ships were incorporated in the computer-simulated exercise which made the training all the more realistic. 

I feel far more prepared to hit-the-ground running should an actual emergency occur. Singapore is the “gem” of the Pacific and I fondly look forward to returning here soon.

Navy Yeoman 2nd Class Aldwyn Singleton, MSC Far East Reserve Unit 101: MSC plays a vital role by coordinating and deploying U.S. reinforcements to the Korean peninsula during a crisis, a vital part of Key Resolve.  At the CAT, I was part of a logistics and tactical team which managed hundreds of MSC ships transiting the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans to support our forces in South Korea. 

Having completed this training, I gained significant insight as to how important MSC is in supporting a crisis, be it in South Korea, or any other area around the world.

Participating in Key Resolve has definitely been a great learning experience and I will take many lessons-learned home. On a personal note, experiencing the culture and sites of Singapore was enlightening. Singapore is definitely a place I’d like to visit again.

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