MUJUK: Small in size, Large in role
CAMP MUJUK, POHANG, Republic of Korea -- When there is an exercise in the Republic of Korea, a small number of U.S. Marines play a key part in facilitating the bilateral and multilateral training between the ROK and U.S. Marine Corps.
These are the Marines of Camp Mujuk, Marine Corps Installations Pacific located in Pohang, Republic of Korea. Camp Mujuk spans a very small 88 acres and is the only Marine Corps Installation in Korea.
“It’s one big support center,” said Staff Sgt. Richard Sweetman, the training staff noncommissioned officer for Camp Mujuk. “We house Marines for life support area purposes and support training.”
Camp Mujuk usually acts as the facilitator for major bilateral and multilateral exercises such as the Marine Expeditionary Force Exercise 2014, which is an umbrella exercise overseeing the series of ROK-U.S. bilateral activities and engagements on the Korean peninsula including the Korean Marine Exchange Program, Freedom Banner 2014, Ssang Yong 2014 and Key Resolve 2014.
“When we have Marine Expeditionary Units and landing forces coming in, we make sure that we have full cooperation and support from the ROK Marines,” said Sweetman. “We forge that relationship and help it grow and make sure everything goes smooth.”
Planning an exercise takes many long and deliberate steps to coordinate all of the different support elements, according to Kim Pyong Yol, the training liaison officer and range specialist for Camp Mujuk.
“When there is an upcoming training event, it begins with a concept development conference,” said Kim. “After the CDC, the initial, intermediate, and final planning conferences will be held. During the intermediate planning conference all of the necessary training requirements will be discussed for the exercise and is coordinated with the ROK Marines.”
Some of these necessities are sometimes difficult to organize, but the Camp Mujuk staff successfully completes the task, according to Sweetman.
“We definitely help everything from logistics to training and anything the Republic of Koreans may need pertaining to customs and immigration, such as flying Marines into the airport or landing a light armored vehicle on the beach, run smoothly,” said Sweetman. “All of these things would be a lot harder without Camp Mujuk.”
When it comes to MEFEX, the staff at Camp Mujuk works diligently to ensure proper preparations are made.
“We spend a lot of time planning,” said Sweetman. “Site survey teams come in and we show them what is available and what we are capable of doing and we arrange meetings with the ROK Marines. When it comes to boots on the ground, checking on the ranges, making sure everybody is happy and the requirements are met on every level, we take care of that.”
Camp Mujuk was first established in 1980, and has been the base of Marine Corps operations on the Korean peninsula for the last 34 years.