By Pacific Ocean Division Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii - A team of five Drilling Individual Mobilization Augmentee (DIMA) Army Reserve Soldiers deployed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Pacific Ocean Division (POD) in Hawaii and the Far East District (POF) in Seoul, Korea March 11-21 and demonstrated their capabilities during exercise Key Resolve. The exercise was a combined and joint defense-oriented, annual training event designed to defend the Republic of Korea (ROK), protect the region, and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula.
Col. Thomas Lavender led the DIMA team, which was assigned to support POD and POF in the exercise. Rounding out the team were Lt. Col. Nicholas Nazarko, Maj. Aaron Eklund, Lt. Col. Stuart Ross, and Maj. Jeffery Ward. Nazarko and Eklund deployed to Fort Shafter where they updated a draft concept plan to support military contingencies on the Korean Peninsula and developed a table-top exercise for split-basing in the event of a Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation. In Seoul, Ross and Ward participated as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers liaison officers to Combined Forces Command and the Republic of Korea Army.
POD Commander Col. Gregory J. Gunter spoke highly of the DIMAs’ contributions to USACE.
“DIMA Soldiers provide valuable assistance to commanders by serving as additional emergency operations staff,” said Gunter. “The team validated their competencies during this major annual exercise, which is designed to enhance the ROK-U.S. Alliance. The DIMAs serving in our region are a group of talented officers and non-commissioned officers, who maintain a high level of readiness and are ready to support contingency operations.”
The purpose of the DIMA Program is to facilitate the rapid expansion of the Active Army wartime structure in order to meet military manpower requirements in the event of military contingency, pre-mobilization, mobilization, sustainment, and/or demobilization operations. This objective is accomplished by pre-assigning qualified members of the Army’s Selected Reserve, DIMAs, to required mobilization positions that have been specifically designated and documented to augment a proponent agency, such as USACE.
Some people are not aware of the difference between an Army DIMA Soldier and a traditional Army Reservist.
According to Lavender, who is the senior DIMA Soldier at POD, “The primary difference is a DIMA provides support to the active component, while a traditional Reservist is part of a larger reserve component unit.” “DIMAs normally have the flexibility to perform their annual training and drills all at once, or they can space them out, depending on the needs of the Soldier and the needs of the unit,” he added.
POD has six DIMA positions, and POF has 18 positions, consisting of planning and operations staff members, as well as a number of liaison officers. This 24-Soldier team of DIMAs is the largest of all the Divisions within USACE.
In addition to the five DIMAs who recently assisted during exercise Key Resolve, there are a number of DIMAs who are on active duty orders providing long-term support to POD & POF. Lt. Col. Amy Trombley has been supporting POD since June 2011. POF is enjoying the benefits of support from Maj. Randy Lorenzo, Maj. Vincent Lee, Maj. Brian Becker, Sgt. Maj. David Breitbach, Sgt. 1st Class Ernestine Smith, and Staff Sgt. James Park, who are all performing duties associated with managing one of the largest construction programs in the history of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Korea.