U.S. Soldiers assigned to 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment partnered with Republic of Korea (ROK) forces for the first combined short range air defense (SHORAD) training event on the Korean Peninsula.
The purpose of the exercise was to integrate efforts between the ROK and U.S. forces on SHORAD. The field exercise allowed the ROK and U.S. troops to gain familiarity with each other’s weapon systems and capabilities, with an end goal of building an enduring partnership between the two units.
The controlled communication exercise was critical to the success of the operation and the lines of communication were seamless throughout their field training exercise. Furthermore, the two platoon leaders bridged the language gap by leveraging Korean augmentees to the United States Army and translators with the 516 Air Defense Artillery, nullifying an identified obstacle.
While in the field, both units trained on their mission essential tasks of emplacing combined SHORAD assets to defend a critical location, de-conflicting engagements of enemy aircraft based on sector of fire, and utilizing secondary means of targeting enemy aircraft when their primary weapon system becomes combat ineffective.
For U.S. Soldiers, this meant using the man-portable air-defense system, where two-Soldier teams are capable of eliminating low altitude cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems and air breathing threats.
The ROK army simulated those targets by providing the oppositional force throughout the exercise, and tested the combined short range air defense with scout helicopters and a perimeter attack by ROK Special Forces.
The units are planning more combined training events to further expand their scope of understanding and strengthening their newly casted relationship. The next exercise will occur over the next few months and build on their recent successes, while also working to improve on areas identified during their after action review.
Battery E, 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment was realigned with 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade in April after being under the operational control of 210 Fires Brigade for the past several years. They are the only U.S. Avenger unit in the Korean theater of operation.
Capt. Jonathon Daniell, U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM)