Korea — Gaining Confidence in Anti-Submarine & Anti-Ship Operations

The First Fleet oper­at­ed its train­ing pro­gram all day long with no break in between to move a step clos­er to estab­lish a com­bat-ori­ent­ed fleet. Named the “24-Hour Com­bat,” this drill pro­gram was designed to train its sol­diers to expe­ri­ence con­di­tions that close­ly resem­ble real com­bat and to fur­ther enhance their team­work and coun­ter­ac­tion capa­bil­i­ty.

Sailors on the Masan ship under the 1st Naval Fleet who have tak­en part in the action drill called “24-Hour Com­bat,” demon­strate, under the watch of a drill offi­cer, the shoot­ing pro­ce­dure for the sur­face-to-air guid­ed mis­sile Mis­tral, under the sit­u­a­tion in which ene­my air­craft are approach­ing the ship. Pro­vid­ed by the unit
Source: MND, Repub­lic of Korea

This unprece­dent­ed drill last­ed all day on Feb. 6 with­out the des­ig­nat­ed time for meal, sleep, and breaks at all. In par­tic­u­lar, more than 50 watch offi­cers, who com­prised one-third of the total per­son­nel on the Masan, thor­ough­ly checked the trainees’ com­bat capa­bil­i­ties on board and their capa­bil­i­ties to cope with the prob­lems in a cri­sis.

The drill start­ed imme­di­ate­ly after the arrival of a report that a boat fish­ing, in the waters off Sok­cho at 9 a.m. on the morn­ing of Feb. 6, had dis­cov­ered an object, believed to be a sub­ma­rine. The frigate com­mand and con­trol cen­ter imme­di­ate­ly ordered the Masan, which had been at anchor in the har­bor, to mobi­lize it.

As the ship moved out, the watch offi­cers assigned the sailors var­i­ous sit­u­a­tions such as a frac­ture of the fin­ger and a break­down on the nav­i­ga­tion radar.

Under the direc­tion of their cap­tain, the trainee sailors moved in per­fect order to cope well with the giv­en sit­u­a­tions.

After fin­ish­ing the anti­sub­ma­rine sit­u­a­tion, they went on to the tac­ti­cal drills to coun­ter­act local provo­ca­tions tak­ing place around the North Lim­it Line (NLL), de fac­to inter-Kore­an mar­itime bor­der, to win bat­tles at sea, and to deal with the sit­u­a­tions of fail­ures in gen­er­a­tors and com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

There was also a night­time fire drill. This drill was aimed at being con­duct­ed in a real­is­tic bat­tle­ground envi­ron­ment. The envi­ron­ment was pro­vid­ed by smoke bombs thrown inside the ship room.

Tak­ing com­bat ration for their meals wher­ev­er they stay, the sea­men dis­played to the full the tac­tics and tech­niques they had honed all the while. The eval­u­at­ing offi­cers care­ful­ly checked the trainees’ every move­ment fol­low­ing them like a shad­ow.

The exer­cise last­ed exact­ly 12 hours until 9 a.m. on Feb. 7. The Masan frigate was test­ed a total of 111 drill items. Those items include 8 basic drill items like anti­sub­ma­rine, anti-sur­face ships, and sur­face-to-air, oper­a­tions, and 41 tac­ti­cal drill items like tor­pe­do eva­sion, and 62 trou­bleshoot­ing drill items like han­dling the fail­ures in gen­er­a­tors and radars.

“Through the real­is­tic com­bat oper­a­tions train­ing, we sure­ly gained con­fi­dence in our abil­i­ty to calm­ly and prompt­ly coun­ter­act any sit­u­a­tion at any time,” said Lt. Com. Park Chan-woo, in charge of the oper­a­tions train­ing. “Fur­ther­more, we will cor­rect and sup­ple­ment all the prob­lems exposed in the course of the drill as soon as we can, so that we can be equipped with high-qual­i­ty com­bat capa­bil­i­ties.”

The fleet has planned to apply the 24-hour com­bat train­ing pro­gram to all the ships under the Fleet, and also, by feed­ing back the results of the train­ing to the units, to select dis­tin­guished units, there­by rais­ing the units’ com­bat capa­bil­i­ty.

Min­istry of Nation­al Defense[MND], Repub­lic of Korea