Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Wolfhounds follow sister battalion to South Korea

The 1-27th Wolfhound Infantry Battalion from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, came to Korea hoping to replicate some of the training their sister battalion, the 1-21st Gimlets Infantry Battalion, experienced earlier this year during Operation Foal Eagle.

"It has given us an excellent opportunity to work with Eighth Army and 19th ESC (Expeditionary Sustainment Command) to further refine our reception, staging and onward movement and a chance to work with [2nd Infantry Division]," said Lt. Col. Todd Fox, 1-27th Infantry Battalion commander.

Fox explained that any chance to improve the interoperability between their 25th Infantry Division and 2nd Infantry Division will go far to increase the Army's capabilities in the Pacific.

The Wolfhounds were impressed overall with how well their training has been facilitated by coming to Korea.

"The support we have received, training facilities and our ability to collectively maneuver train our Strykers have all been outstanding here," said Maj. Chris Choi, battalion operations officer.

Having left Korea in 2010 after serving for several years here, Choi noted that the facilities have improved since last he was here. He was especially impressed with the Georgia Infantry Platoon Battle Course, which was just completed last month.

"The training has been fast and furious, just one training exercise into the next," said Choi. "This was intentional as we wanted to complete a lot of individual and collective training with enablers from 2ID."

"We can get out and shoot not only the MGS (Mobile Gun System), but the other (Stryker) variables as well," said Maj. Thomas Harris, battalion executive officer. "Another opportunity we are taking advantage of is that all our mortar crews will get to fire, which they haven't gotten a chance to do since Iraq."

Harris explained that they will get a chance, with the help of 2nd Infantry Division and the 98th Republic of Korea, or ROK, Field Artillery Battalion to integrate direct and indirect fires, mortars, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and close air support during their combined live-fire exercise.

Having recently worked alongside the New Zealand Army and the Singapore Army for exercises Alam Halfa and Tiger Balm, Fox welcomed the chance for his young leaders to continue to train with and grow from working with the competent professionals in the ROK Army.

"Any conflict we find ourselves in the future will require partnership," said Fox.

"I have really appreciated being able to come here and train, which wouldn't have been possible without Eighth Army and [U.S. Army Pacific], 2nd Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, 19th ESC and a host of other units that have supported us," said Fox.

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