POHANG, Republic of Korea -- Republic of Korea and U.S. Marines test their knowledge of military operations in urban terrain during the culminating event of Korean Marine Exchange Program 15-11 in Pohang, May 16, 2015.
During the course of KMEP 15-11, ROK and U.S. Marines exchanged law enforcement techniques, tactics and procedures while enhancing relations across the Korean Peninsula. Capabilities reinforced during the exercise included combat hunter, improvised explosive devices, military operations on urban terrain and tactical site exploitation. The culminating event tested participants on what they learned from the start of the exercise.
Combat hunter skills allow Marines to track and gather information on individuals to better anticipate their actions, according to Staff Sgt. Fernando J. Delgado, a combat hunter instructor with 4th Law Enforcement Battalion, Force Headquarters Group, Marine Forces Reserve.
“Tactical site exploitation is similar to what detectives do in movies,” said Cpl. Park Soohwan, a ROK military police officer with 1st Division. “It was great to experience in real life; it got me thinking about what the enemy might do and what to look for as evidence.”
Urban operations involve different ways to enter and exit rooms safely while clearing for possible threats, said Lance Cpl. John R. Smith, a military police gunner with 3rd LE Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF.
Prior to the culminating event, U.S. and ROK Marines receive a brief outlining the mission and dividing the forces into mixed teams. Working side-by-side, the bilateral participants are given 45 minutes to enter MOUT town in search of high profile targets while clearing the area of enemy insurgents.
Each team starts by patrolling towards MOUT town and identifying possible simulated roadside bombs along the way. After calling in the threats, they enter MOUT town in search of the targets. While entering the city, their knowledge of urban operations is tested through simulated to enemy fire, evidence acquisition through TSE and detention of targets. Once the target is escorted from MOUT town into a holding facility the mission is complete.
KMEP 15-11 is a recurring, annual exercise that reinforces the importance of training with allies in the Republic of Korea, as well as the significance and strategic value Okinawa provides III Marine Expeditionary Force.