PACIFIC OCEAN --
U.S. Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit hosted classes for Republic of Korea Marines visiting USS New Orleans here June 3.
The embarked Marines held two classes that introduced the visiting platoon to U.S. Marine Corps small-arms weapons and martial-arts techniques.
Platoon sergeant Cpl. David Wainright said his platoon was glad to share its knowledge and establish good relations with another corps of marines.
"We introduced them to the basic characteristics of medium machine guns and small arms used in our mechanized infantry," said the 24-year-old Temecula, Calif., native and member of Headquarters and Service Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/1. The landing team is the unit’s ground-combat element.
ROK Marine and squad leader Sang Myung Lee said he was impressed by the scopes and optics on the U.S. weapons, and he marveled at the similarities between the two countries’ fighting techniques.
"(The ROK Marines) were outstanding, really motivated, and interested in what we were teaching," said Wainright. "They took to the practical application really fast; they were anxious to train, and my platoon had a great time working with them."
U.S. Marine and company commander Capt. Sung Kim said the Marines in his charge took lessons from the exchanges of expertise.
“Working with our allies and exchanging ideas and training opportunities makes us a better unit on the battlefield,” said Kim. “For the Marines of the 11th MEU, it gives us yet another opportunity to be gracious hosts to our friends and act as ambassadors for our nation and military. Through these engagements we have built friendships and mutual respect as militaries."
The visitors boarded the ship June 2 to sail to Hawaii for Korean Marine Exercise Program 12-9, a regularly scheduled combined exercise. Participating are a platoon of Republic of Korea Marines from 1st Company, 21st Battalion, 1st Marine Division, and U.S. Marine forces from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines. The exercise focuses on strengthening the ROK-U.S. relationship while enhancing tactical interoperability and developing ROK Marine operational capabilities.