US Army, October 14, 2016 - CHUNGJU, SOUTH KOREA by Sgt Robert Larson - On October 13th, Soldiers of 2nd Battalion (Assault), 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division-Republic of Korea/US Combined Division assisted ground units of ROK Army counterparts from the 603rd Air Assault Battalion on nighttime air assault training.
“We are conducting a combined air assault between ROK 603rd Air Assault Battalion and US 2-2 Assault Helicopter Battalion, involving six UH-60 Blackhawks from both sides,” said Capt. Chris Strain, an aviation officer, 2nd Bn., 2nd Avn. Regt., 2nd CAB, 2ID/RUCD. “Most importantly, today’s training will be conducted during night time, which makes everything more complicated. You are losing primary visual sense. So, definitely more challenging. However, night time is also when we can possess an advantage over enemy if everything is precisely conducted in a right way.”
With the sun setting, more than 100 ROK soldiers from the 603rd Air Assault Battalion arrived at the pickup zone.
The sound of the first Blackhawks rose to a deafening roar from the dark sky as they approached. After the helicopters landed, the first group of ROK soldiers quickly boarded. Approximately five minutes after the six ROK Blackhawks left, the US helicopters arrived to pick up the remaining ROK soldiers.
“With combined training like this, you get to see the other nation’s operations, tactics and techniques,” said Strain. “When you work with other nations since every nation has its different ways to proceed, you really have to step back and think ‘How do I do it?’ and ‘Why do I do it in that way?’”
Strain explained the importance lessons that he gained from conducting combined training.
“Not only learning from them, but you are taking a deeper look at why you do the things the way you do it and find if there’s a better way that it can be done.”
With 2nd Infantry Division’s 100th Anniversary coming up, the Soldiers are endlessly building on top of the Indianhead’s legacy.
“To be part of this training for me is very humbling,” said Sgt. Devon Canty, 2nd Bn., 2nd Avn. Regt., 2nd CAB, 2ID/RUCD. “It’s a great opportunity to see both units operating together, and really honored to build upon the long history of the second Infantry Division.”