Foal Eagle combines ‘Gimlets’, South Korean forces

| April 20, 2012 | 0 Comments
Pfc. Seung Ho Han (second from right), chemical specialist, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, translates a rehearsal discussion between 1st Lt. Eli Gaylor (right), 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, and ROK Master Sgt. Jan Sup Kung (center), April 12, in preparation for a combined U.S. and ROK  live-fire exercise. The training event was part of Foal Eagle 2012, an annual combined training exercise between the US and ROK armies, which focuses on strengthening partnerships and war-fighting skills.

Pfc. Seung Ho Han (second from right), chemical specialist, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, translates a rehearsal discussion between 1st Lt. Eli Gaylor (right), 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, and ROK Master Sgt. Jan Sup Kung (center), April 12, in preparation for a combined U.S. and ROK live-fire exercise. The training event was part of Foal Eagle 2012, an annual combined training exercise between the US and ROK armies, which focuses on strengthening partnerships and war-fighting skills.

‘Warrior Brigade’ aids in interoperability

Story and Photo by
Maj. Gabriel Zinni
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

POCHEON, Korea — Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, “Gimlets,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, participated in a combined live-fire training exercise with Republic of Korea, or ROK, soldiers at Rodriguez Multi-Purpose Range Complex, here, April 13, to train not only on their warfighting skills, but also on their ability to execute and accomplish missions as a single, cohesive unit.

The live-fire event, consisting of approximately 50 ROK and U.S. Soldiers, focused on rappelling and attack through firepower, maneuver and constant communication between ROK K1 tanks and U.S. Stryker Mobile Gun System, or MGS, vehicles.

The event was part of an annual training exercise, Foal Eagle, which falls under the U.S. Pacific Command’s Theater Security and Cooperation Program.

Foal Eagle is designed to maintain proficiency in the two armies’ abilities to plan and execute combined defensive missions on the Korean peninsula.

“For us, Foal Eagle has accomplished three things,” said Lt. Col. Tim Hayden, commander, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT. “It has validated our ability to deploy anywhere in the Pacific theater. It has increased our ability to plan and effectively execute as a combined team with our ROK partners, and it has strengthened the relationship we maintain with our ROK partners, not only at the strategic level, but down at the individual Soldier level, too.”

Hayden commands one of only 27 Stryker Battalions within the U.S. Army.

“The Stryker is an incredibly agile, flexible and lethal platform for our Soldiers to fight from,” Hayden said. “It complements the ROK army’s vehicles very well, which, in a lot of cases, are similar to ours.”

“What is most unique about this combined training event is that (U.S. and ROK armies) took a U.S. platoon and broke it into a section, and took an ROK platoon and broke it into a section, and placed them under one unified combined commander,” said Maj. Blake Lackey, operations officer, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT. “This is the first time we have been able to execute this type of combined training, and it is representative of the professionalism and capabilities of our two organizations.”

Hayden said the majority of 2nd BCT Soldiers have been battle tested during recent years and have combat experience in Iraq with Stryker vehicles.

“These combined training events with our ROK army partners have enabled us to successfully exercise command and control in restrictive terrain,” he said. “We are training exactly how we would fight here on the Korean peninsula.”

The Gimlets will continue to train with ROK army units through the month of April before returning to their home station at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

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Category: Deployed Forces, Exercises, News, Training

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