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NEWS | May 3, 2017

'Resolute' Soldiers return from CJLOTS exercise in South Korea

By Capt. Derrick A. Dixon 7th Transportation Brigade Expeditionary Public Affairs

Soldiers from the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) recently returned from a month-long exercise, Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore 2017, as part of Operation Pacific Reach in Pohang, South Korea.

Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 1,200 Republic of Korea service members participated in the CJLOTS exercise. CJLOTS involves loading and offloading ships in austere areas where ports are damaged, unavailable or lack adequate fixed-port facilities.

The operation becomes joint when including other U.S. military branches and combined when including coalition forces. In this particular exercise, the 7th Trans. Bde. (Ex.) also worked with the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, as well as all ROK services to offload ships with equipment and erect tactical operation centers.

According to Lt. Col. Jason House, 7th Trans. Bde. (Ex.) operations officer in charge, LOTS exercises become even more beneficial when working jointly or with coalition forces.

“Training with our Korean allies allows us to integrate our processes and accomplish missions more effectively,” said House. “This prepares us to partner together in the event a real-world situation requires our attention.”

This year’s CJLOTS training fell underneath Operation Pacific Reach, a training event designed to ensure readiness and sustain allied capabilities. These operations can use rail, inland waterways or coastal lift operations to transport supplies, forces and equipment to needed areas when a typical port facility is not available or easily accessible.

One of the key missions during CJLOTS was the 331st Causeway Company “pier stabbing.” The unit was tasked with installing and removing the Trident pier – a 1200-foot long portable, floating platform that links offshore operations to land.  Also known as a modular causeway system, this platform is built in the shape of a trident, then “stabbed” into the shore to offload warfighting equipment. 

“This exercise allowed us to practice rapidly drawing and using equipment already in place to get supplies where they need to go -- in this case, from ship to shore,” said Capt. LeRae Scott, 331st Causeway Company commander. “Having just practiced causeway operations at home, CJLOTS gives us the opportunity to validate our training abroad not only with our U.S. services, but also with the ROK.”

While most of the brigade’s Soldiers are home reflecting on a successful exercise, for some, the mission in Korea continues. These Soldiers will remain in Korea to load equipment, and will return to Fort Eustis in the coming days.