US, Korean Marines team up for exercises

23 Mar 2007 | Lance Cpl. Corey A. Blodgett

Two squads of Marines stack up on both sides of a door. When squad leaders give the command, the Marines will charge into a suspected insurgent hideout and secure the building.

"Go! Move!"

"Kha Shep Shi O!"

The languages are different but the goal is the same: two squads of Marines - one American and one Korean - tear into the building with fury, covering for each other and committed to one objective.

U.S. Marines with Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division and Republic of Korea Marines with 2nd ROK Marine Division came together at the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility at Rodriguez Live Fire Complex March 6 to officially kick off the Korean Integrated Training Program and live-fire exercises.

The training began with U.S. and ROK Marines participating in military operations on urbanized terrain training, room clearing and patrolling after receiving classes and demonstrations from U.S. Marine instructors.

The training was only the first of many cooperative events to occur throughout the month of March, said 1st Sgt. Patrick S. Brittingham, the sergeant major of CAB.

"So much is happening during KITP," Brittingham said. "It's a great opportunity to train with our ROK Marine counterparts, from MOUT training to (assault amphibian vehicle) movement and weapons shooting."

The combined arms operation will also consist of standard weapons static live-fire, live fire maneuver training and demolitions training, according to Maj. Michael O. Hixson, the commanding officer of CAB.

Such combined training is essential for building a strong relationship with Marines from an allied country, Hixson said.

"It's important to work alongside the ROK Marines because if the time comes where you must fight alongside your allies, you must know how they train and how they fight," Brittingham said. "Having the opportunity to do that here is a huge benefit for both Marine Corps."

By working and training so close together, it is easy to see the connection between the two Corps, Hixson said."

The ROK and U.S. Marines are very similar," he said. "They're highly disciplined, very motivated, extremely smart and every bit as serious about their work as we are about ours."

According to Staff Sgt. Dong Yeop Kim, with 2nd ROK Marine Division, the feeling is mutual.

"Working with the U.S. Marines is, as they would say, 'good to go,'" Kim said. "We are all part of the same team and we're excited to work with the U.S. Marines."
Headquarters Marine Corps