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