Business leaders in South Korea witnessed the combined might of the Republic of Korea-United States Alliance during a live-fire exercise Oct. 4.
Members of the American Chamber of Commerce, Good Neighbor Advisory Council and Korea International Trade Association watched a combined arms exercise at this range close to the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
The group also visited the Humvee and mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle, or MRAP, roll over training facility, tried on body armor and got an up close look at ROK Army K1A1 tanks, U.S. Army Bradley Fighting Vehicles and small arms.
To get a taste of military life, they also ate Meals, Ready-to-eat, with U.S. troops at the range dining facility.
Earlier on Yongsan Garrison, the group was briefed on U.S. Army operations in South Korea by Eighth Army Deputy Commanding General for Operations Maj. Gen. Walter M. Golden.
Golden thanked the leaders for their support of Eighth Army and the ROK-U.S. Alliance.
At the live-fire range, Golden and Eighth Army Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney Harris explained the training scenario to the visitors as it unfolded.
During a simulated scout mission, the 4-7th Cavalry’s 2nd Platoon, C Troop practiced scouting a route and marking obstacles. The 4-7th Cavalry is part of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team in the South Korea-based 2nd Infantry Division.
The platoon was backed up by Apache attack helicopters from the 2nd ID, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 4-2nd Attack Battalion and by tanks from the 4-7th Cavalry’s sister unit, the ROK Army’s 26th Tank Battalion.
According to 4-7th Cavalry Commander Lt. Col. Mike Adams, this was the biggest combined exercise for the 4-7th Cavalry and 26th Tank Battalion to date.
The visitors watched as the platoon discovered a concertina wire obstacle on the route and called in a sapper unit. An elite group of U.S. Army engineers, the sappers used 40 pounds of explosives and a Bangalore torpedo to blast a hole through the wire, rattling the windows on the third floor of the observation tower.
Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Apache helicopters and artillery guns then lit up the business end of the range with a thunderous salvo of missiles, artillery shells and 50-cal. rounds. They were later joined by ROK Army K1A1 tanks that pounded their targets with earth-shaking 120mm rounds.
As an Apache attack helicopter swooped in on its target, American Chamber of Commerce member Nathan McMurray said he was humbled to see the “raw power” of the U.S. military firsthand.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before, except on television,” said McMurray, a Seoul-based attorney who is originally from Buffalo, N.Y.