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NEWS | March 20, 2024

U.S. Army Engineers Complete Wet Gap Crossing with the ROK Army

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

The 11th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, 2nd Infantry-ROK/U.S. Combined Division joins forces with the ROK army 5th Engineer Brigade to participate in a combined wet gap crossing training exercises as part of the annual combined training held near the Imjin River in Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do from March 11-20, 2024.

“Today the 11th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry-ROK/U.S. Combined Division successfully completed a wet gap crossing together with the ROK 129th Engineer Battalion. This is the culmination of over a week of training and progression involving hundreds of U.S. and ROK Soldiers,” explained Lt. Col Brent Kinney, 11th Engineer Battalion commander. “What we demonstrated here today is a testament to the strength of our alliance and capabilities as a combined team. The ability to identify, seize, and cross challenging terrain ensures we can maintain forward momentum on the battlefield.”

ROK and U.S. Army units utilized aviation, armor, air defense, chemical, biological and defense capabilities to train the security and protection of the site during the exercise that was designed to verify interoperability through the construction of a joint pontoon bridge.

Approximately 200 Korean soldiers, 270 U.S. Soldiers, 65 pieces of ROK-US engineering equipment such as Ribbon Pontoon Bridges (RBS), Improved Ribbon Bridges (IRB) and CH-47 Chinooks were deployed to provide engineering support necessary for joint operations.

CH-47 Chinooks carried out air transport of bridging assets. This capability to provide air transport of crossing materials can be used to construct gap crossings in times of conflict when land movement is impossible due to road damage or normal bridge launching restrictions.

“With the idea that operations are training and training is operations, it was a good opportunity to maximize the interoperability of ROK-U.S. crossing equipment and improve combined operation performance capabilities,” said Major Kim Jin-woo, commander of the 5th Engineer Brigade Doha Company.