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Chairman's Senior Enlisted Advisor Meets Korean Counterparts

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2006 – The alliance between the United States and South Korea is one of the strongest in the world and is vital as the U.S. military and all militaries move toward a joint future, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today.

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A soldier from the Joint Security Area briefs Army Command Sgt. Maj. William J. Gainey (to briefer's immediate right), who is senior enlisted advisor to the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and U.S. and South Korean soldiers at a tabletop overview of the demilitarized zone on June 20. Gainey is on the Korean Peninsula visiting servicemembers to thank them for their service. Photo by Spc. Amanda J. Dyer, USA
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

"It's a team effort of the soldiers of Korea and the soldiers of the U.S.," Army Command Sgt. Maj. William J. Gainey said. "We have to do it together; it's part of being joint, and being joint is part of having a relationship with other countries."

Gainey made these comments following his meeting here with Command Sgt. Maj. Ryoo Seung-ho, the command sergeant major for the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Sang Hee Lee, chairman of the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff. They are the Korean equivalents of Gainey and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

During the meeting, Gainey and Lee talked about their servicemembers and their missions. Lee said the alliance between the U.S. and South Korea is one of the most powerful in the world, and has allowed South Korea to have a flourishing democracy and prosperous economy.

"The people of this nation are always grateful for the effort made by the U.S.," he said.

Lee also noted that South Korea and the United States are working together in Iraq and Afghanistan, doing joint operations. He said he hopes that Gainey's visit here will help him better understand the alliance between the two countries, and will be the basis for a lasting relationship between the joint staffs.

Gainey said he believes the meeting was very fruitful, and will form the foundation for a strong relationship.

"What I noticed today is that (Lee) is so proud of what his servicemembers are doing, but he is equally proud of what our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are doing," Gainey said. "That's why I told him that I was proud of what his servicemembers were doing, and the relationship that we have and will continue to have until time runs out."

This is Gainey's first visit to Korea as the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Today he visited American Forces Network Korea, Camp Bonifas -- the northernmost camp in South Korea -- and the demilitarized zone. This week, he will continue visiting areas around the country, with the goal of meeting with servicemembers from all branches of the military.

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Biographies:
Command Sgt. Maj. William J. Gainey, USA

Click photo for screen-resolution imageKorean Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Lee Sang-hee meets with Army Command Sgt. Maj. William J. Gainey (second from left), senior enlisted advisor to the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Army Command Sgt. Maj. Berry Wheeler, U.S. Forces Korea command sergeant major, during a visit to Republic of Korea headquarters June 20. The two officials spoke about cooperation between the U.S. and Korea and Gainey's visit to the country. Photo by Spc. Amanda J. Dyer, USA  
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