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NEWS | March 15, 2024

2nd Infantry/ROK-U.S. Combined Division Joins with ROK Forces for Air Assault Training Mission

By Maj. Taylor Criswell, 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division

The 2nd Infantry/ROK-U.S. Combined Division completes a large-scale joint air assault training operation in conjunction with the ROK 2nd Rapid Response Division, Army Aviation Command, Air Force's 5th Air Mobility Wing during Freedom Shield 24 in the Republic of Korea, March 11-15, 2024.

The exercise involved approximately 40 large-scale joint aviation assets, including CH-47 Chinooks, UH-60 Black Hawks, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, Air Force C130H transport aircraft, as well as 1,400 ROK and U.S. Soldiers. The goal of the training was to master mission performance and combined joint operational capabilities.

"Combined training with our ROK allies gives us the opportunity to build trust and learn from each other's processes which improves our capabilities to fight alongside each other,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Dave Sherwood, CH-47 pilot, 3-2 General Support Aviation Battalion, 2nd Infantry/ROK-U.S. Combined Division. “This has been a unique training exercise that has increased mission readiness and communication with our ROK partners."

The training commenced on the 11th, with the 2nd Rapid Response Division and the 5th Air Mobility Wing infiltrating the target area. On the 12th, follow-up troops secured a landing site through a group descent via a transport aircraft (C-130H) and conducted dropping supplies and equipment.

The multi-day training event involved target area infiltration, securing landing zones, supply delivery, and rapid troop movement for successful air assaults. Each unit and airframe conducted thorough planning and communication to work through language and process differences to improve combined readiness.

"Through the training I was able to re-realize the importance of combined and joint operations,” said Lt. Col. Jung Kyung-Kook, battalion commander of the ROK 201st Rapid Response Brigade. “Even if a battle breaks out tomorrow, I will continue my readiness."

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