June 25, 2012

Allies conduct exercise to mark Korean War anniversary

by Walter T. Ham IV
Pocheon, South Korea

U.S. Army Apache attack helicopters from the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, participate in a live-fire exercise June 22, 2012, in Pocheon, South Korea.

American and South Korean forces conducted a large live-fire exercise to mark the anniversary of the Korean War at a range close to the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

More than 2,000 South Korean and U.S. troops and 38 military units participated in the live-fire training exercise, June 22, three days prior to the 62nd anniversary of the start of Korean War.

The exercise was attended by numerous South Korean and U.S. government and military officials, including Republic of Korea Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, Republic of Korea Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson.

Marshalling together the alliance’s combined military might, U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Division Apache attack helicopters and Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles and U.S. Air Force 51st Fighter Wing A-10 Warthogs trained with units from the Republic of Korea, or ROK, Army and ROK Air Force.

During the integrated air and ground operations, artillery units, tanks, fighting vehicles, tactical aircraft and attack helicopters peppered and pummeled their targets in a precise fusillade that echoed across the range and filled the summer air with the acrid smell of gun smoke.

The exercise culminated with a ROK Army airborne unit parachuting into the mountains on the eastern end of the rugged training range.

According to Eighth Army Public Affairs Chief Col. Andrew C. Mutter, the exercise sends a clear message about the alliance’s enduring commitment to deterring aggression on the Korean Peninsula and maintaining security in Northeast Asia.

“ROK and U.S. forces train together all year round here to ensure we remain ready fight and win,” said Mutter. “Our ability to conduct such complex combined, joint live-fire exercises is a testament to the professionalism and readiness of our militaries.”

Soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division stand next to a static display of a M109A6 Paladin 155mm Howitzer following the live-fire exercise, June 22, 2012, in Pocheon, South Korea.

A U.S. Army Apache attack helicopter from the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, participates in a live-fire exercise June 22, 2012, in Pocheon, South Korea.

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