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Utah National Guard, Republic of Korea Army conduct artillery exercise

March 16, 2012

By Walter T. Ham IV. Eighth Army Public Affairs

RODRIGUEZ LIVE-FIRE COMPLEX, South Korea (March 16, 2012) -- South Korean and U.S. Army units unleashed a precise barrage of 155m self-propelled artillery rounds during a live-fire exercise March 15 at a training range close to the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

The Utah Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 145th Artillery Regiment and the Republic of Korea Army's 628th Artillery Battalion conducted a combined artillery live-fire exercise as part of the Foal Eagle exercise.

Lined up together, the American artillerymen shot numerous rounds from their 155mm self-propelled Paladin M-109A6s and the Republic of Korea, or ROK, Army unit shot 155m K-55 self-propelled rounds.

Lt. Col. Adam Robinson, the commander of the 1-145th Artillery Battalion, said the exercise gave his Soldiers the chance to hone their skills.

"This live-fire exercise was a great opportunity to come to Korea and train with our ROK allies," said Robinson. "The best way to ensure peace is to be ready to defend it."

According to U.S. Army officials, bringing a National Guard unit to Korea demonstrated the ROK-U.S. alliance's ability to quickly integrate units from the continental United States into operations on the Korean Peninsula.

"This exercise highlighted the flexibility, responsiveness and strength of our alliance," said Eighth Army Public Affairs Officer Col. Andy Mutter. "These battalions came together, overcame communication and language barriers and flawlessly performed their mission."

Occurring around the same time every year, Foal Eagle maintains the readiness of the Combined Forces Command to deter or defeat aggression against South Korea and to maintain stability in Northeast Asia.

This year Foal Eagle runs from March 1 - April 30. The annual field training exercise is defensive in nature.

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