ROK Marines, U.S. Marines kick down doors together during Foal Eagle '09

11 Mar 2009 | Lance Cpl. Michael A. Bianco

More than 120 Republic of South Korea infantry Marines came together with more than 2 U.S. infantry Marines to conduct Military Operations on Urban Terrain training here March 9-11 in support of Exercise Foal Eagle 2009.

            ROK Marines with 5th Company were taught the proper procedures for patrolling through an urban environment by Marines with Company L (reinforced), 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

            Throughout the three day course the ROK Marines spent time learning how to secure windows and doorways and how to move from room to room through entire buildings.

            When clearing the buildings, the ROK Marines were instructed to work together in four-man teams, with each Marine having their own tasks to complete. The “one man,” or lead Marine, provided cover to the front and decide in which direction to move. The second and third Marines were charge of clearing a room or hallway, while the fourth Marine provided security from the back of the formation.

            “They (ROK Marines) have never done MOUT before, but are still learning very quickly,” said 2nd Lt. Adam Craig, 2nd platoon commander with Company L.

According to some Marines participating in the exercise everyone was able to have fun and learn from one another despite the language barrier and harsh weather conditions.

“Everyone is cold, and sometimes it gets hard to understand each other, but we are all Marines. As Marines we have to adapt and overcome,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua Wallis, an infantryman with Company L. “Even under the circumstances, we completed our mission.”

Gunnery Sgt. Lee Sung Goo, platoon sergeant with 5th Company, said the two countries have a vast amount of knowledge to exchange.

“We (South Korea and the U.S.) have been able to exchange information on a countless number of occasions, and we learn something new from each other every time,” he said. 

The MOUT training is one of many bilateral training events taking place during Foal Eagle ’09.  The exercise focuses on military interoperability training and strengthening the partnership between the South Korean and U.S. Armed Forces.

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31st Marine Expeditionary Unit