ROK Marine leader visits
By Pfc. Mike Granahan
| | January 31, 2013
CAMP GONSALVES, Okinawa, Japan --
Lt. Gen. Ho Yeon Lee, the commandant of the Republic of Korea Marine Corps, visited Okinawa Jan. 29 to tour Marine Corps installations and discuss future training between the U.S. and ROK Marine Corps.
During his visit, Lee met with senior Marine Corps leaders on Okinawa in an effort to facilitate further bilateral training between the two nations’ Marine Corps and had the opportunity to fly in an MV-22B Osprey.
“I was really looking forward to getting on board an Osprey,” said Lee. “As I expected, the Osprey was quieter and smoother than other military aircraft I’ve flown in, and has the high level of safety needed to conduct operations. The Osprey’s operational range can contribute to successful bilateral operations. We hope to continue training with the aircraft and U.S. Marines, and we want to learn more about how they employ the Osprey.”
Lee flew in an Osprey to the Jungle Warfare Training Center at Camp Gonsalves, where he spoke with Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., the commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force, about the center’s purpose and received rappelling and water-crossing demonstrations from course instructors.
“Since both our Marine Corps conduct training together so often and with a variety of equipment and personnel, we are always ready to operate side by side, no matter the terrain or type of operation,” said Lee.
The alliance between the U.S. and The Republic of Korea dates back to the 1950s, and grows stronger every day, said Lt. Col. Larry A. Bailey, the Korea exercise officer for III MEF.
“We supplement each other’s abilities very well, and we learn just as much from them as they do from us,” said Bailey. “The best attributes from both of our respective Marine Corps are merged, making us both stronger.”
The relationship between the U.S. and ROK Marine Corps continues to grow through the frequent training exercises, discussions and visits continuously conducted throughout the year, according to Lee.
“We consider the relationship between the Republic of Korea Marine Corps and the United States Marine Corps to be more like a brotherhood,” said Lee. “The other services in the ROK military are envious of how close-knit our Marines are, and we will continue to enhance our interoperability and strengthen the relationship between our Marines.”