Exercise Ssang Yong 2016 is underway in the Pacific Ocean and the Southeast Korean Penninsula.More than 17,000 troops from the US,Republic of Korea,Australia and New Zealand commenced the drills on 10 March.On 12 March,US Marine Corps and US Navy personnel from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit,Camp Pendleton,California and the 31st MEU,Japan,joined ROK Marines,Australian Army and Royal New Zealand Army troops for amphibious assault training at Doksukri Beach,South Korea.A flotilla of 19 ships took part in the effort,7 of them from Expeditionary Strike Group 7,which is drawn from 2 Amphibious Ready Groups and has more than 9,000 Marines.Ships from the Royal Australian Navy,Royal New Zealand Navy and 3 ROK ships from Commander,Flotilla sailed in a joint Marine Expeditionary Brigade/Expeditionary Strike Group.*
The role of the 13th MEU is to conduct amphibious operations that help build a greater partnership with other naval forces in the Korean theatre of operations,said 13th MEU commander Colonel Anthony Henderson.It gives us an opportunity to show how we conduct our full spectrum of operations from amphibious landings to humanitarian assistance.The MEU will help support the MEB/ESG with its ground,logistics and aviation combat elements,COL Henderson explained.Amphibious landings,aviation operations and landing craft air cushion surface operations will be supplemented by the Marines also doing community service ashore for a well-rounded experience.*
Upholding the reputation of the 1st Marine Regiment,the Marine Corps legacy of being fierce combatants in the Korean War,is very much on the minds of the 13th MEU Marines,who will execute live-fire training in the course of the exercise.*
What we have done for the last year as a naval integrated team with all these ships and how we function across our mission sets-using the sea as manoeuver,providing presence and ensuring stability by our operations-is what we train to and what we're prepared to demonstrate in Ssang Yong 2016,said Sergeant Cesar Martinez,an infantry platoon sergeant with the Fighting 13th Marines and Sailors.