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12th Marine Regiment departs for Korea

US Marine Corps News

7/13/2012 By Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock, Marine Corps Bases Japan

KIN RED BEACH, Okinawa, Japan — Approximately 250 Marines with 12th Marine Regiment departed Kin Red Beach training area, near Camp Hansen, July 9-11, for the Republic of Korea.

The regiment, a part of 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, left the area onboard a high-speed vessel to the Republic of Korea for Korean Marine Exchange Program 12-7. A detachment of Marines with 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III MEF, joined the regiment for the exercise.

Marines loaded food and supplies for the exercise onto the vessel using Humvees, 7-ton trucks, tractors and forklifts.

“Having all of the Marines out here loading the (vessel) and preparing for deployment reminds us that we are expeditionary,” said Chief Warrant Officer Nicholas Farmer, an embarkation officer with the regiment. “Seeing (them) out here working hard shows that we can be ready when called upon, whether it be for training or the real thing.”

The KMEP series of exercises is conducted annually between U.S. and Republic of Korea Marine Corps units to increase interoperability and combined capabilities.

“This is a great opportunity to enhance our partnering relationships and demonstrate our war-fighting techniques,” said Capt. Caleb A. Murphy, a fire direction officer with the regiment. “During the exercise, we hope to learn as much as possible from training with the Republic of Korea Marines.”

During the exercise, ROK and U.S. personnel will conduct bilateral field training. The training will include U.S. Marines serving as a command and control element for ROKMC 8th Artillery Battalion during live-fire artillery training and bilateral combined small-arms and machine gun ranges.

Marines will also be involved in several community relations events alongside ROK Marines. In addition to the equipment, the regiment brought other assets to ensure the success of KMEP 12-7.

“My job during the exercise is to facilitate the interaction between Korean and U.S. service members and civilians,” said Lance Cpl. Jorden Back, an interpreter with the regiment. “The more I can help the interaction between the two countries, the smoother the exercise will be.”

KMEP 12-7 will take place at Rodriguez Live Fire Complex and at St. Barbara and Nightmare Ranges in the Republic of Korea from July 8 – August 14.

The exercise demonstrates the mutual continued dedication to the ROK-U.S. relationship and contributes to security and stability on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

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