Of all the “defensive friendships” that exist between the US and her military allies, one notably warm relationship is that between US and South Korean military personnel- especially US and Republic of Korea (ROK) Marines.
Both known for their extraordinary toughness US and ROK Marines are revered in their home countries and around the world for their professionalism and grace under fire. Slaying “dragons” together since the Korean War, both organizations are feared by their respective and collective enemies.
Despite a recent drawdown in training between the two nations (at least on the Korean Peninsula) in order to show North Korea that peace can be achieved, both the US and ROK are still ensuring that quality training is being performed.
According to the DOD, Exercise Foal Eagle took place in March and was a “series of joint and combined ground, air, naval and special operations field exercises” simulating the repelling of a North Korean attack.
According to The Diplomat, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis recently announced that next year’s Foal Eagle exercise will be scaled back to an extent in an effort to aid the peace process.
“Foal Eagle is being reorganized a bit to keep it at a level that will not be harmful to diplomacy,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.
The US and ROK alliance are expected to announce details of the scale-backs around December 1.
Regardless of plans for smaller exercises, there is little doubt that US and ROK Marines will be teaming up to put in work in 2019, while no doubt enjoying themselves during their downtime.
Such was the case in December of last year, when a US Marine and ROK Marine -who had been working together on joint exercises- performed in front of their friends, “beat-boxing” an elaborate and well-constructed song using only their vocal cords.
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