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ROKing the House - ROK Marines learn MOUT tactics at Foal Eagle

2 Mar 2008 | Cpl. GP Ingersoll

ROK Marines recently learned how to show up to a party and get everybody’s attention.

 Kick the door down and throw in a grenade.

 U.S. Marines taught Mobile Operations in Urban Terrain procedures to 90 Marines from the Republic of Korea’s 2nd Marine Division here March 2.

 The 2nd Division ROK Marines, whose mission -- anti-infiltration -- is executed mainly up North in mountains and forests, jumped at the opportunity to learn urban warfare, said Lt. Damon A. Doykos, platoon commander, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.

 “They never learn MOUT, and we do a lot of MOUT because of the war [in Iraq],” said Doykos. “It’s the perfect opportunity to include them.”

 The ROKs were as eager to execute as they were to learn. It took them only a few hours of class to apply the basics in MOUT tactics.

 “Until this morning, they had never worked in an urban environment,” said Sgt. Nicholas L. Hardy, scout team leader, 1st LAR, from Chelsea, Alabama. “By this afternoon, they’re already doing four-man entries with a support element into multiple rooms.”

 The ROK Marines learned how to properly stack outside an entry way, how to breach, and how to clear. U.S. Marines made sure to cover every possible hazard.

 Clearing a room or building successfully and accurately is something they need to know, because Marines could be fighting beside them one day, said Lance Cpl. Chris R. Hays, 23, from Hector, Ark.

 With this MOUT knowledge, they can take the enemy out quickly and not endanger themselves or even U.S. Marines, said Hays, a driver with 1st LAR.

 Hays also mentioned the importance of knowing how to spot and neutralize danger areas. Besides covering doorways, Marines taught the ROKs the three-dimensional nature of MOUT. ROKs practiced covering windows from outside, checking for holes in the ceiling and maintaining awareness on stairways.

 “They’re actually becoming pretty proficient,” said Hardy. “They are willing to do anything you tell them to do multiple times until they get it right.”

 Hardy explained that the only downfall of his particular class was that he had no interpreter. Armed with only a few understood words and a lot of action, Hardy felt he completed the task of teaching Korean servicemembers urban war fighting.

 “If we ever have to work them, or a situation came up where they would have to work internally with us, I would have no problem going into an urban environment with these guys,” Hardy said.

 Maybe for Hardy and the other U.S. Marines here, actions speak louder than words.