US-ROK forces hone skills
Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 102nd Regiment, 17th Infantry Division charge to secure a hillside during an air assault while conducting a joint training exercise with 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers Oct. 15 at an undisclosed location in South Korea. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Vincent Abril)

The roaring sound of UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters echoed though the nearby mountains as they approached their landing zone. These rotary wing vehicles and their lethal Soldiers were part of "Operation Salmusa," a large-scale air assault exercise named after a deadly snake found in the Republic of Korea and in other parts of Asia.

Assets from the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade's 2nd Battalion (Assault), 2nd Aviation Regiment, and 3rd Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, flew in more than 600 U.S. and Korean Soldiers to an undisclosed location.

During the rapid descent, soldiers of the Republic of Korea army's 1st Battalion, 102nd Regiment, 17th Infantry Division, focused on their mission.

They did so with the help of U.S. troops from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, who also participated in the joint training exercise.

Continuous joint U.S.-ROK training exercises are a combat multiplier but, perhaps more importantly, the experiences shared during training will enhance future combined war fighting capabilities between allies.

"What we learn from this is each other's doctrine. We have the opportunity to share tactics, techniques and procedures, develop a common understating of how we'll do business and we get away from the uncertainty of what combined operations will bring," said Brig. Gen. J.B. Burton, the 2nd Inf. Div. deputy commanding general for maneuver.

1st Lt. Cho Nam-ho, a member of the 17th Inf. Div. who trained alongside 2nd Bn., 9th Inf. Regt. troops, expressed how grateful he was for the opportunity to conduct such crucial training with U.S. Soldiers.

"U.S. Soldiers look very energetic and robust. They look very willing to train as we fight and I am very thankful for such activeness. This training will help us to close the gap between the two teams and this helps us to understand each other, which is key to successful missions," said Cho.

The 2nd Inf. Div. commanding general, Maj. Gen. Edward C. Cardon, said he was pleased with how U.S. and ROK forces trained and communicated during the exercise.

"I'm very impressed by the communications capabilities, [in] that we have a ROK lieutenant talking to Apache aircraft. That is the way that we need to operate as we continue to work our way ahead with greater communication capabilities," said Cardon. "This is exactly the kind of combined training we need to be doing to have options and war-fighting capabilities. This is really impressive."

Page last updated Tue November 20th, 2012 at 20:32