S Korea, U.S. conduct live-fire exercise

South Korean and U.S. soldiers on Monday displayed their readiness against any possible threats in a live-fire exercise which involved the Stryker Interim Armored Vehicles.

Four Stryker vehicles and some 40 soldiers took part in the training exercise held at a firing range in Pocheon, 40 km northeast of Seoul.

The live-fire exercise, highlighting the capabilities of the Stryker vehicles, was part of ongoing annual joint military drills between the two countries that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has called a “rehearsal for invasion.”

Seoul has said that the drills are defensive in nature.

The Stryker vehicles have been deployed in South Korea from Fort Lewis, Washington, for the Key Resolve/Foal Eagle annual drills, which began on Feb. 28 and this year involve 12,300 U.S. troops and some 200,000 South Korean soldiers.

A U.S. soldier from Stryker Brigade team participates in the South Korea-U.S. joint military exercise "Key Resolve/Foal Eagle" in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province of South Korea, on March 7, 2011. South Korean and U.S. soldiers on Monday displayed their readiness against any possible threats in a live-fire exercise which involved the Stryker Interim Armored Vehicles. (Xinhua/Park Jin Hee)

Lieutenant Colonel Ted Stephens told journalists that it is important for both South Korean and U.S. soldiers to maintain ” fight tonight readiness” given the DPRK’s rhetoric and the history over the last 50 years.

He also said that plans, equipment and readiness need to be maintained at a high level in order to defend South Korea.

Monday’s live-fire exercise was mainly focused on testing the Stryker vehicles, which allow troops to move to the battlefield quickly and in relative security.

“The Stryker has many different components and probably it’s best with its maneuverability, its ability to traverse in any type of train, it’s a quiet vehicle, it’s a gas-powered engine, and it has the capability of a troop-carrier, so it has many different uses. And we’re happy to train with it,” said Lt. Col Stephens.

The annual joint drills run through April and are composed of some 35-40 exercises.

– Xinhua news

Leave a Reply