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Korea Training Center

The Korea Training Center is a rural area near Yongpyong, about 20 miles northeast of Camp Casey in the northern part of South Korea. Armored and units use the range to meet yearly, live gunnery training requirements. The center is manned throughout the year and various armored units rotate through training scenarios to meet yearly live gunnery training requirements. An important part of readiness is live fire training.

Eighth Army had an agreement with the ROK Army for recurring use of ROK training areas, and 2nd Infantry Division would pay costs of OPFOR, observer/controllers, and rotational unit costs from command funds. Field barbecues were normally held at the Eight United States Army (EUSA) Korea Training Center (KTC). This type was the most popular because the command set the date and time usually near the end of the training event. This increased the morale of the soldiers on site.

The effects of democratization and urbanization in Korea on Eighth Army training produced many of the same challenges also faced in Europe. The training area problem was a function of training areas being widely dispersed, often temporarily unavailable, and too small to support modern weapon systems. Existing training areas also suffered from sustained encroachment by nearby civilian urbanization, and safety concerns for civilians reduced the size and time available for required training.

The Korea Training Center's capabilities that existed in 2000 matched those that existed at the United States' National Training Center 2 decades ago prior. The Korea Training Center remains very manpower intensive due to the lack of instrumented technologies. The goal was to fully instrument the facility with the Homestation Instrumentation System by FY08. The Korea Training Center required an average of $4.5 million per year through FY07.

The Collective Training Facility to be built at the Korea Training Center would allow Second Infantry Division soldiers to train in an urban environment resembling a Korean town and a high rise apartment building. Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) was a training imperative for all ground forces in Korea. Urbanization had come to dominate the landscape in South Korea. As a result, ground forces would have to fight in this challenging urban environment should a conflict erupt. The $12.4 million for military construction of the Urban Terrain Center Training Facility replicated the extreme challenge of fighting in cities that forces would face in Korea in a wartime scenario.

One of the projects in support of readiness was the upgrade of the multipurpose range complex (MPRC) at the US Army Korea Training Center. Units of the 2nd Infantry Division used the MPRC for helicopter, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, M1 Abrams tank, artillery, mortor, and close air support training. The MPRC project was the result of damage suffered during the flooding of 1998. The flooding damaged 3 target movers extensively, with the underground wiring system becoming inoperable with wiring exposed and torn and transformers submerged. MPRC course roads were washed out and a contaminants "collection pond" filled with debris. The damage degraded operations for 30 days.

The Army was upgrading the facilities and had completed the first phase of the project. Phase I included construction of 8 firing positions, 2 kilometers of road and 5 reinforced concrete box culverts for flood control. To minimize the impact on training capability at the range, the $3.7 million dollar phase I work had to be done on a very tight schedule. On 12 January 2000, the live fire range was ready for 2 companies of the 9th Infantry for Bradley Fighting Vehicle training at the range using the Phase I upgrades.

Phase II, also $3 million, was scheduled for completion in June 2000 and would include 15 battle positions and 1/2 kilometer of road. Both Phase I and Phase II work would improve the durability of the firing positions. Also under construction, and scheduled for completion by October 2000, were 4 open bay barracks, a maintenance facility, dining facility, and an after action review facility. Each of the open bay barracks would house 2 companies. These facilities would greatly improve the quality of life for the soldiers who train at the MPRC.

The Korea Training Center was not included in the Land Parternship Plan first agreed to in 2002 and then ammended in 2004. However, elements associated with it, including the Rodriquez Range Complex, were slated for return to the Republic of Korea. Only Rodriquez Local Training Area #1 was to remain under US control, the other 3 sites would be returned to the Republic of Korea.




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