By By Pfc. Jong Soo Oh, 1st Signal Brigade Public AffairsJuly 15, 2013
GURI, SOUTH KOREA -- American Soldiers from the 41st Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade, participated in Republic of Korea Army guerilla training with Soldiers from the 60th Signal Battalion ROKA in Guri City, South Korea July 2.
ROKA guerilla training provides an opportunity for Korean Soldiers to develop skills to adequately survive in enemy territory.
41st Signal Battalion often partners with the 60th Signal Battalion ROKA.
"This event has been planned out for three months," said Capt. Ruben E. Chirinos, 41st Signal Battalion. "This is our third visit with the 60th ROK Signal Battalion upon mutually exchanging visits to each others' facilities."
The soldiers battled heavy rains while conducting physical training, which included an obstacle course, gas chamber, and a Korean combative exercise.
"Everyone was smoked after the first hour of ROK PT (physical training)," said Chirinos.
The session lasted for one and half hours without breaks between exercises.
U.S. Soldiers were treated the same way ROK drill instructors treat ROK soldiers. Heavy rain continued to pour during the event, but Soldiers remained motivated throughout the entire exercise.
After the ROK physical training the two units went through the gas chamber and performed various exercises while in protective gear.
"This gas was by far the worst and nastiest gas that I have experienced," said Sgt. Lavoris J. Tate, Operations Non-commissioned Officer in Charge, 275th Signal Company, 41st Signal Battalion.
After exiting the gas chamber, participants were hosed with water to clear CS (tear) gas from their faces and necks.
For safety reasons, the units were only allowed to negotiate the rope bridge portion of the obstacle course due to the rain.
Finally, the participants moved to the fighting pit where the soldiers competed in an eight-on-eight, winner takes all, wrestling event. The pit was filled with four-feet of water. The goal was to throw your opponents out of the fighting pit. The last team with a member standing in the pit is declared the winner. 41st Signal Battalion Soldiers won each round verse their ROKA counterpart.
American Soldiers were excited for the opportunity to be part of the ROK training culminating exercise.
"This event reminded me of FXT (field training exercise)in basic training," said Pvt. Kristian Toth, Information Technology Specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 41st Signal Battalion. "It is challenging, but I would love to participate in these types of events again."
The ROKA guerilla training helped build a stronger cohesion between the two Army units.
"Before the event, we did not expect it to go this well with the sour weather condition, but it's good to see that everyone at 41st and ROK 60th had a meaningful time," said Chirinos. "We will plan together with our ROK sister battalion to hold similar events that would further contribute in making our alliance strong."