U.S. Officers Attend South Korean Military Training Course
By Walter T. Ham IV
U.S. 8th Army
SEOUL, South Korea, Oct. 15, 2013 The Korean National Defense University here welcomed American military officers to its first combined training course in September.
American and South Korean military students attending the first Korean National Defense University combined training course eat lunch at a South Korean restaurant after a recent class trip to the Demilitarized Zone. Courtesy photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The week-long Combined Operations Training Course brought together South Korean and U.S. military officers to address security issues and learn more about the U.S.-South Korea alliance.
“We all began to better understand and respect the variety of perspectives in our group,” said U.S. Army Maj. Lisa Livingood, an 8th Army planner who attended the inaugural combined course. “It is the only course in my career where I have studied in equal numbers with allies.”
Livingood said the combined course covered a wide variety of topics, including Korean history, the history of the U.S.-South Korea alliance and South Korean military command structures.
According to Livingood, the students visited the world’s most heavily armed border.
“We traveled into the [Korean] Demilitarized Zone to learn about its structure, the role of the United Nations Military Armistice Commission and the functioning of a front fence line ROK guard post,” said Livingood, who grew up in Frankfurt, Germany.
The course is one of many initiatives designed to enhance the alliance that has defended South Korea for more than 60 years. South Korean Army noncommissioned officers also train together with U.S. Army NCOs at the Wightman NCO Academy at Camp Jackson, South Korea.
Livingood said she would recommend the course to anyone interested in learning more about the alliance and the role it plays in deterring aggression on the Korean Peninsula and maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
The 8th Army planner added that the course enabled the U.S. military officers to bond with their host-nation allies.
“The course promoted camaraderie between the U.S. students, the ROK students and across national lines,” Livingood said.