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