Street Fighters: ROK, US Marines prepare for urban combat

by Lance Cpl. Drew Tech, III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office
U.S. Marine Corps

POHANG, Republic of Korea -- Republic of Korea and U.S. Marines took to the streets June 11-12 to execute military operations on urbanized terrain training at the MOUT training center in Pohang, Republic of Korea.

The training evolution was part of Korean Marine Exchange Program 14-8, a combined, small-unit training exercise, which enhances the combat readiness and interoperability of ROK-U.S. Marine Corps forces.

The ROK Marines are with Military Police Company, 2nd ROK Marine Division, and the U.S. Marines are with Company C, 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF.

The two-day event covered the basics of patrolling through an urban environment, reacting to enemy contact, crossing danger areas, as well as clearing out rooms, stairwells and buildings.

A great deal of tactical knowledge was gained from the training on both sides, according to U.S. Marine 1st Lt. Luke D. Scott, a military police officer and platoon commander with the company.

“A lot of lessons (were) learned working through the friction of having to communicate using interpreters and communicating without them,” said Scott. “Through the process of teaching them our tactics, techniques and procedures, it enables us to be closer to the same page if we were to operate with them in the future. Not only are they more familiar with out TTP’s, but we’ve had some exposure to how they operate, how they learn and even on a personal level some relationships were gained.”

Through sharing knowledge with the ROK Marines, the U.S. Marines have learned new military skills themselves, according to U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Anthony J. Pellegrini, a military policeman and squad leader with the company.

“A lot of our Marines are working hard and they are learning a lot,” said Pellegrini. “I feel like the way they are learning is through teaching. As their training the ROK Marines, it’s registering in their head how to clear a room or the proper way to cross a danger area. With them actually being in front of another person and teaching it to them, it is in turn helping out the teacher as well.”

KMEP familiarizes U.S. Marines with the Korean Peninsula and builds upon an existing strong relationship between ROK and U.S. Marines.

“The ROK Marines are very tough, very smart and they are great people to work with,” said Pellegrini. “I look forward to working with them each day.”

The ROK Marines look to advance their own tactics based on the U.S. Marines’ wartime experiences during KMEP 14-8, according to ROK Marine 1st Lt. Han Kuhm Lee, a military police officer and platoon commander with Military Police Company, 2nd ROK Marine Division.

“It’s definitely a good opportunity for us as ROK Marines to learn about actual combat tactics,” said Lee. “In Korea we lack the wartime experience that the U.S. Marines have, so learning those tactics is what we can gain most of during these next two weeks.”

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