[시사타임즈 = 이철원 본지 회장]
Primary school priority restoration work and relief activities
According to my experience when I was dispatched to East Timor and Iraq in the past, I found that 'the effect of civil operations is the greatest when targeting children'. This is because, in common with mankind, parents like and treat people who are kind to their children. In order not to be attacked by hostile forces in Iraq, when I went to an unfamiliar village, I operated with children in our vehicle, and collected information from them. As I experienced the effects of civil operations targeting elementary school students, the first thing I did after dispatching was to select an elementary school to be restored. The reasons were as follows.
First, rumors by children spread quickly and have a large ripple effect.
Second, when the school was restored while many children were starving due to the typhoon, the parents could concentrate on their livelihood by sending the children to school.
Third, since everyone sympathized with the importance of children's education, there were no complaints about restoring and supporting schools prior to other public facilities.
Fourth, since most people do not forget the help they received when they were young and remember the gratitude, it is possible to make friends from a long-term perspective.
For this reason, at the initial stage of the operation, the elementary school was intensively restored and relief activities were carried out for children. Wherever we went, we received a warm welcome from the locals and were able to create a friendly environment for us early on.
Medical support and resident-friendly activities centered on remote villages
Relief activities and disaster recovery activities of various organizations in the affected area were mainly carried out in cities and coastal villages. This is because most of the support was given in consideration of accessibility, usability of existing buildings, and ease of publicity by mass media. Therefore, these villages enjoyed the benefits of overlapping support from various organizations, but remote villages without electricity in inland areas did not receive benefits such as medical assistance.
In response, the ARAW unit intensively provided medical support to remote villages using three ambulances, one dental bus, and two quarantine vehicles. In parallel, we provided food such as popcorn, slushies, and cotton candy as a friendly activity. In addition, a movie was screened under the name of 'ARAW Mobile Cinema' at night for villages that provided medical support during the day, giving residents a fresh cultural shock.
In addition, we operated 9 water trucks to provide drinking water to villages and prisons where there is no water every day. As a result, villagers who have not yet been supported by the South Korean military asked the village chief, “Why is not the Korean army coming to our village?” When they protested, the village chiefs rushed to ask for a medical support team.
In one village, the mayor said he needed money to receive support from the South Korean military and took money from the residents, causing a problem. These remote areas-oriented residents-friendly activities were not limited to the operational area, but expanded to nearby areas so that as many residents as possible could benefit from it.
Building restoration work with Philippine Army engineers
After Typhoon Haiyan, multinational forces, including Korea, were promptly deployed to carry out operations such as evacuation of refugees and emergency relief. However, the Philippine Army was in a state of damage, so restoration equipment and oil were limited.
In this situation, I proposed to the Philippine Army to do the restoration work together while providing equipment and recovery materials, and the Philippine Army actively accepted it. The Philippine Army did not have heavy equipment or the latest tools for building restoration, but carpenters were very good at their dexterity.
On the other hand, our army was mainly organized as combat engineers, and among the soldiers, there was little experience in building bricks, plastering, carpentry, etc. Therefore, the combined team of the Philippine Army and the repairman was a good opportunity to win-win with each other. We provided the latest equipment, tools, and household items, and the Philippine Engineers provided about 80 competent carpenters every day. Ofong Elementary School, which was restored on January 24 as a result of this joint operation with the Philippine Army, became the first building in Leyte to be restored after the typhoon. publicized it to the public. It also served as an opportunity to build trust and friendly relations between the ROK and Philippine forces, as the Philippine Army was proud of its joint work with the ARAW Unit.
글 : 이철원 본지 회장 (전 아라우부대장, 예비역 대령)
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