CAMP HOVEY, South Korea - Manchus of 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team and allied Republic of Korea Soldiers from the 75th ROK Brigade conducted combined training in the spirit of "katchi kapshida" Jan. 21 at the Close Combat Tactical Training facility
The training was conducted as part of "Iron Focus," a brigade-level exercise. During the exercise, ROKA troops learned how to operate different vehicles and weapon systems through virtual demonstrations in the facility.
William Scafe, a technical trainer with the CCTT, said the exercise showed ROKA troops the way American Soldiers train in a virtual environment.
"This is actually the first time we've incorporated the ROKA and American Soldiers together in this facility," Scafe said. "By allowing them to get familiar with the technology we use and practice with our simulators, they get a good perspective on how American Soldiers train before going out and doing the real thing."
We have many different types of simulators, so these Soldiers get a live experience as if they were actually in the fight, Scafe said.
Lt. Col. Milford H. Beagle Jr., the 2-9th Inf. commander, said his Soldiers collaborated closely with ROKA allies during the training.
"The ROKA has integrated an armor and infantry platoon with us," Beagle said. "They are interested in how we train and they wanted to see how the CCTT simulators enhance our training. They received familiarization training here today and learned how we move and communicate in a virtual world."
The ROKA leaders and Soldiers also appreciated the training. One platoon leader, ROKA 2nd Lt. Han Byul Kim, compared the training conducted at the CCTT to that normally done internally by ROKA units.
"The U.S. Army has this virtual reality facility that allows them to do numerous rehearsals and is more convenient because they can practice more often," Kim said. "In the ROK Army we don't have a simulation system like the CCTT, and this training facility is giving us a better understanding of how the U.S. Army implements its training."
Beagle said the training benefited his Soldiers as well as the ROKA troops.
"This, for us, was a good opportunity to figure out the smaller things that I don't think have been experimented with for quite some time when it comes to working with our ROK counterparts," Beagle said. "We can do that all in a sterile, more controlled environment like this facility before we get out and do it live."
"All in all this was a tremendous opportunity for us to be able to train with them and be able to have them live with us here on Camp Casey." Beagle said. "With them, training at our facilities and completing the same missions that we do, it just makes for a better training condition, training environment and a better team. It's going to set the stage for greater training opportunities down the road."