Allies Conduct Exercise to Mark Korean War Anniversary
By Walter T. Ham IV
8th U.S. Army
POCHEON, South Korea, June 25, 2012 American and South Korean forces conducted a large live-fire exercise June 22 to mark the anniversary of the Korean War at a range close to the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
U.S. Army Apache attack helicopters from the 2nd Infantry Division’s 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade participate in a live-fire exercise June 22, 2012, in Pocheon, South Korea. U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Kim Jae-you
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
More than 2,000 South Korean and U.S. troops and 38 military units participated in the exercise, held three days before today’s 62nd anniversary of the start of Korean War.
Numerous South Korean and U.S. government and military officials attended the exercise, including South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik and Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, as well as Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, commander of 8th U.S. Army.
Marshaling the alliance's combined military might, crews of U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Division Apache attack helicopters and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter jets trained with units from South Korea’s army and 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 South Korean army airborne unit parachuting into the mountains on the eastern end of the rugged training range.
Col. Andrew C. Mutter, 8th Army public affairs chief, said 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.
"[South Korean] and U.S. forces train together all year round here to ensure we remain ready fight and win," he said. "Our ability to conduct such complex combined, joint live-fire exercises is a testament to the professionalism and readiness of our militaries."