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ROK, U.S. Marines train to become experts during Foal Eagle 09

13 Mar 2009 | Lance Cpl. Michael Bianco

Republic of South Korea Marines and U.S. Marines came together to take part in the Combat Marksmanship Program in support of Exercise Foal Eagle 2009 March 12-13.           

      ROK Marines with 5th Company and U.S. Marines with Company L (Reinforced), 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, covered firing drills and basic rifleman techniques as part of the training, allowing both sides an opportunity to learn from their counterparts’ expertise. 

       “They (ROK Marines) were eager to learn and picked up the drills fast,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Soto, an infantryman with BLT 3/5. “They were even racing to see who could reload their rifle the fastest.” 

      According to Cpl. Cho Yang Seak, an infantryman with the ROK Marines, this was a great training opportunity for the ROK Marines because it gave them a chance to showcase their rifleman skills to the U.S. Marines. 

      “We always learn from them (U.S. Marines), and they show us their skills. During this we were able to show them what we’re capable of,” said Seak.

      The two-day course involved both day and night fires, however, during the night fires the ROK Marines were given the opportunity to engage targets using night-vision goggles.  Seak said the night fire courses were very helpful because the ROK Marines were able to train with equipment they don’t often have the opportunity to use. 

      Marines from both sides agreed that, although all training is beneficial, the best training always comes with the opportunity to conduct a live-fire. 

      “It’s one thing when you have to simulate a scenario and pretend to fire, but when you can actually get to the range and see how well you are doing it helps a lot more,” said Cpl. Ryan Salinas, an infantryman with BLT 3/5. 

      Sgt. Ju Kyoung Kim, an assault man with the ROK Marines, agreed and said as Marines, the most important thing they need to know is how to correctly, proficiently and accurately fire their weapon.  This course was another opportunity to refresh those skills.  

      CMP 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 South Korean and U.S. Armed Forces.                       


31st Marine Expeditionary Unit