FORT BENNING, GA (USASOC) – Rangers from the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, returned to the Republic of Korea to conduct a training exercise in coordination with 8th Army, Special Operations Command Korea and U.S. Forces – Korea Command during the months of September and October.
Rangers have not been in Korea since before the Global War on Terrorism started October 2001. In keeping aligned with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s ARSOF 2022, the strategic framework for the future of Army Special Operations Forces, the Ranger Regiment is seeking to strengthen the Global SOF Network by providing a responsive and tangible benefit to Theater Special Operations Commands and joint force commanders.
During the past two months, elements from 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment, have put together a comprehensive training path, building from individual marksmanship up to platoon live-fire exercises and force-on-force raids.
“We are focusing on the basics and developed a bottom-up training model to allow a gradual progression from individual to platoon skillsets,” said Maj. Pete Leszczynski, company commander. “Of our eight weeks on the ground, we have spent six in the field emphasizing marksmanship and small unit tactics.”
The Rangers have also focused on long range marksmanship within the sniper section as well as mobility, physical training, and medical training. Small unit tactics training focused on reacting to contact, enter and clearing a trench, knocking out a bunker and room clearing battle drills. They also incorporated assault breaching, fast rope insertions and close attack aviation call-for-fire.
As the Army reduces its footprint abroad and loses some of the combat experience built over the last decade, the requirement for the Regiment to increase its ability to project force and to proliferate leaders and tactics, techniques and procedures to the general purpose force will become increasingly important by 2022.
Knowing the changing nature of the environment, USASOC recognizes the increased demand from TSOCs and joint force commanders for operational-level capabilities in support of long-duration, regionally-focused campaign plans. To meet both the scope and scale of this demand, TSOCs and joint force commanders require Army Special Operations Forces to provide a combination of responsive reach-back support and scalable, tailored command and control options in situations ranging from steady state to crisis.
“Korea was chosen because of the great training facilities and support infrastructure it offers to rotational units,” said Maj. David Uthlaut, 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment liaison officer. “The leadership of U.S. Forces – Korea, 8th Army, and Special Operations Command – Korea, has all been extremely receptive to our presence, actively setting the conditions for our success and providing reinforcement as we work through initial integration.”
While joint training with the South Korean military has been limited, the Rangers and the 7th Republic of Korea Special Operations Forces Brigade conducted two foreign jump-wing exchanges. They also observed platoon live-fire training as well as force-on-force training.
“The Korean military, with its habitual relationship with U.S. Forces, has been instrumental in the coordination of events that would have been otherwise impossible to complete without local assistance,” explained Leszczynski. “The synchronization of the many requirements that accompany a training event on any Korean facility would not have been possible without the institutional knowledge, flexibility, language proficiency, and geographical expertise of the Koreans we have worked with.”
“This relationship is still evolving,” Uthlaut said. “We believe we have set the stage for more in-depth inter-operability training for future training rotations.”