Korea – Marines improve combat skills in first-ever in LIMPAC

“The first assault squad shall move quickly and occupy the building ahead. The second squad shall assist the first and the third squad shall take a role of a covering force.”

A group of marine troops conduct a drill to occupy a building on May 22 in an urban combat training site near Pohang, North Gyeongsang. The group is scheduled to participate in the 2012 Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise for first time in Korean Marine Corps history. By Park Heung-baeSource: MND, Republic of Korea

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The date was May 22 when the untimely sweltering heat was rising. The place was the combat exercise field on the 1st Marine Division site in Pohang, North Gyeongsang.

First Lieutenant Kim Soo-hwan, a platoon leader, and more than 30 marines finished an operations meeting and then started performing their full-scale missions.

The assault squad searched carefully one building after another ahead, constantly taking up the stance for firing the gun so that they could fire an immediate shot if need be.

The troops subdued the imaginary enemy troops one after another by breaking into the door on the opposite side of the hinge if the door opened inwards, while on the side of the hinge if the door opened outwards.

The squad members who first entered the building mopped up the enemy troops as they moved inward along the wall and then took their position in the corner, which was done for the purpose of providing enough space for the members immediately following the first group to launch their operations.

The platoon organized a two- or three-men squad instead of a four-men one to effectively mop up the enemy troops within the small interior space of the building. The assault squad’s offensive operations were cleanly finished without a single mistake.

Meanwhile, a reconnaissance patrol drill on the supposition of jungle operations was conducted at a hill near the combat drill field on urban terrain. The top-down reconnaissance-focused drill was carried out in order from an arm and hand signal through the way of dealing with the enemy to change of direction shots.

While moving on full alert through thick-grown woods, the squad members lay flat down on the ground in response to the visual signal from their leader Staff Sergeant Lee Rae-Geon and kept their eyes forward.

Immediately afterwards, they, upon hearing a scout shouting, “Enemy at 3 o’clock,” changed their direction to fire shots in battle formation, and quickly concealed themselves either behind the trees or in the holes.

After destroying the enemy, the trainees walked out of the woods in line or column formation according to the lay of the land, thus winding up the drill.

Those who sweated great drops to sharpen their tactics and techniques were the very marine troops who are scheduled to participate in an overseas military exercise for the first time in the history of the Korean Marine Corps.

Since they were convened on May 26 to receive camp training, the marine troops have made their best to skill up their multinational combined operations capabilities and to practice the combined operation doctrine to get over such obstructions as ditches and barbed during their spring drill conducted at a mountain drill field in Pyeongchang, Gangwon, comprised an obstacle course, a platoon tactics, air assault and a long-distance march carrying full kit.

In addition, from May 14, the platoon carried out a series of intensive drills in preparation for its local field exercise, such as a combat firing practice, a squad and platoon maneuver, an urban warfare and a reconnaissance.

Furthermore, the troops even learned English to help them more smoothly work together with American troops.

This drill made the personnel participating show the multinational forces the excellent landing and ground operations capabilities of the Korean Marine Corps and have strong confidence in handing the know-hows of the operations down to the multinational forces. They also revealed their hopes to build up their experiences in non-battle military activities and peace-keeping operations.

“I’m greatly honored to join an overseas maritime exercise for the first time in Korean Marine Corps’ history,” said Private First Class Cha Jae-bong, clenching his fists. “I’ll do my best to continue the tradition of our Marine Corps nicknamed „Ghost Buster“ and „The Invincible ROK Marines.“

Ministry of National Defense[MND], Republic of Korea