Korea — Foal Eagle: ROK‑U.S. joint maritime maneuvers

Anti-air­craft, anti-sub­ma­rine live fire drill to destroy at the scene of ene­my provoca­tive acts
The Navy con­duct­ed a mar­itime mobil­i­ty Drill as part of the Foal Eagle (FE) Exer­cise. Large-scale forces includ­ing Aegis destroy­ers and sub­marines were deployed in this drill that was aimed at build­ing up ROK‑U.S. joint oper­a­tions capa­bil­i­ties in real com­bat envi­ron­ments.

The Sec­ond Fleet’s patrol and escort frigate drop depth bombs dur­ing the ROK‑U.S. joint mar­itime maneu­vers. Pro­vid­ed by the unit
Source: MND, Repub­lic of Korea

As part of the ongo­ing Foal Eagle train­ing exer­cise, designed to build up the ROK‑U.S. joint oper­a­tions capa­bil­i­ties, which is get­ting more and more intense, the Navy car­ried out a mar­itime train­ing exer­cise for March 13–18 aimed at fur­ther rein­forc­ing com­bat readi­ness in both the East and West sea. 

The First Fleet con­duct­ed the ‘mar­itime mil­i­tary force sup­pres­sion’ drill whose aim at destroy­ing any mar­itime hos­tile act in order to strength­en the ROK‑U.S. joint oper­a­tions capa­bil­i­ties. In this exer­cise, a massed fight­ing strength, com­pris­ing 10 war­ships such as the Chung­mu­gong Yi Sun-shin-class destroy­er ROKS Choi Young (DDH-981) of 4400 tons, which car­ried out ‘Oper­a­tion Dawn of Gulf of Aden,’ and the U.S. Sev­enth Fleet’s Aegis destroy­er Mustin, and Lynx anti-sub­ma­rine heli­copters, and a P‑3C mar­itime sur­veil­lance air­craft, was mobilized. 

The Fleet, upon obtain­ing a sign of appear­ance of an assumed hos­tile sur­face ves­sel, direct­ed a whole mar­itime strength to tight­en secu­ri­ty, and, soon after­ward, began form­ing a mar­itime com­bat group and then maneu­ver­ing. As soon as our forces arrived at the oper­a­tional site, the ene­my sur­face ship began to run down south­ward ignor­ing our warn­ings. Respond­ing prompt­ly to this, the com­bat group divid­ed itself into two parts and then agile­ly approached the ene­my force. 

As soon as the ene­my sur­face ves­sel approached with­in gun­shot range, one group, com­posed of escort and patrol frigates, fired a 76-milime­ter war­ship gun and depth bomb at the tar­get into pieces. The oth­er group, com­pris­ing 10 war­ships such as the Choi Young and Mustin destroy­ers, exe­cut­ed a sim­u­lat­ed fir­ing drill of guid­ed mis­siles to prac­tice the pun­ish­ing and retal­i­at­ing pro­ce­dures with­in the detec­tion range of ene­my radars. 

Dur­ing the same peri­od of the FE exer­cise, the Sec­ond Fleet also con­tin­ued con­duct­ing a ROK‑U.S. joint mar­itime mobil­i­ty drill in the West Sea to boost oper­a­tions capa­bil­i­ties to prompt­ly destroy any ene­my provo­ca­tions. In par­tic­u­lar, on March 13, a three-dimen­sion­al fight­ing strength, con­sist­ing of a 7,600-ton Sejong the Great class destroy­er, a sub­ma­rine, mar­itime patrol air­craft, and the Air Force’s fight­er jets, con­duct­ed a live fire drill. 

The ROK‑U.S. joint naval force, assigned with an emer­gency con­di­tion that an ene­my mar­itime force had vio­lat­ed the North­ern Lim­it Line (NLL), quick­ly got ready for com­bat and left a naval port. After remov­ing an obsta­cle belt the ene­my had installed to block our ships, the joint force start­ed chas­ing an assumed ene­my sub­ma­rine to destroy it. 

Our destroy­er and escort frigate iden­ti­fied the loca­tion of an ene­my sub­ma­rine and then fired accu­rate­ly an anti­sub­ma­rine bomb against the tar­get. Upon hear­ing a blast, our force final­ized its exercise. 

Their anti­sub­ma­rine and anti­air­craft live fire drill dur­ing the exer­cise made the joint naval forces final­ly come to secure the com­bat capa­bil­i­ty by which they can defeat any of the ene­my provocations. 

The Third Fleet held on March 15 an air­field dam­age restora­tion drill in case that an air­field is shelled by an ene­my Scud mis­sile. This drill was pri­mar­i­ly designed for dam­age restora­tion crew to improve their capac­i­ty to exact­ly dis­cern their mis­sions, thus help­ing their friend fight­ers exe­cute smooth­ly their operations. 

The Third Fleet sent an ini­tial 5‑people recon­nais­sance team to the scene where a large crater had formed in the run­way by ene­my Scud mis­sile. As soon as the ful­ly equipped dam­age restora­tion sol­diers arrived at the scene of dam­age, they filled the crater with geosyn­thet­ics and sands using an exca­va­tor and a dump truck. Soon after­ward, the earth­work members’s lev­el­ing the ground and the oth­er mem­bers’ assem­bly and instal­la­tion of a large mat for road con­struc­tion even­tu­al­ly brought the air­field to nor­mal conditions. 

Min­istry of Nation­al Defense[MND], Repub­lic of Korea 

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