2015 Integrated Live Fire Exercise, South Korea and USA: Video and News Article

The militaries of the USA and The Republic of Korea are very closely connected on the Korean peninsula. From what one of my friends in the US Army stationed at the Yongsan garrison once told me while I was living in South Korea, there are US servicemen on every South Korean military base in the country and vice-versa. This helps promote cross-service familiarity/comfort and interoperability. It also, perhaps unofficially, sends a very clear message to North Korea that an attack on any South Korean base would end up as an attack on US Servicemen, and by extension upon the USA itself. It is however that first point that I’ll be focusing on today.

American and South Korean forces conduct joint military exercises together pretty often and generally the larger ones are well publicised. Which I am sure is to both reinforce the concept in the minds of South Koreans and western nations that the USA is still very firmly committed to the defense of South Korea, and also to underline to the North Koreans how powerful the combined USA & Republic of Korea militaries are.

A little over a week ago, forces of the US Army, USAF, Republic of Korea Army (ROKA), and Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) conducted a series of very public live-fire exercises at the Seungjin Fire Training Field, near Pocheon in Gyeonggi Province. The trainning field is about 25 kilometres (about 15.5 miles) south of the Military Demarcation Line (which is the actual land “border” within the Demilitarized Zone). The exercise was open to about 3000 spectators; military personnel, reporters, and civilians from both the USA and South Korea. One of those spectators filmed the excercise, edited it down to less than 10 minutes and put it on YouTube for all to see. Take a look at it for a very clear picture of the events.

There were also a number of news articles in the western news media, but mostly they just said that it happened, with almost no detail, and instead focused on the recent elevated tensions on the peninsula and the history of the conflict in a few sentences. However, if you want to read a much more in dept English-language article about the actual events during the live fire exercise, I suggest that you take a look at this article in The Korea Times.

Taylor

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