Aerial Warfare

2nd Infantry/ROK-U.S. Combined Division Joins with ROK Forces for Air Assault Training Mission

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2nd Infantry/ROK-U.S. Combined Division Joins with ROK Forces for Air Assault Training Mission

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2nd Infantry/ROK-U.S. Combined Division Joins with ROK Forces for Air Assault Training Mission
2nd Infantry/ROK-U.S. Combined Division Joins with ROK Forces for Air Assault Training Mission

The 2nd Infantry/ROK-U.S. Combined Division completes a large-scale joint air assault training operation in conjunction with the Republic of Korea Army (ROK) 2nd Rapid Response Division, Army Aviation Command, Air Force’s 5th Air Mobility Wing during Freedom Shield 24 in the Republic of Korea, March 11-15, 2024. The exercise involved approximately 40 large-scale joint aviation assets, including CH-47 Chinooks, UH-60 Black Hawks, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, Air Force C130H transport aircraft, as well as 1,400 ROK and U.S. Soldiers. The goal of the training was to master mission performance and combined joint operational capabilities.

“Through the training I was able to re-realize the importance of combined and joint operations. Even if a battle breaks out tomorrow, I will continue my readiness,” said Lt. Col. Jung Kyung-Kook, battalion commander of the ROK 201st Rapid Response Brigade.

“Combined training with our ROK allies gives us the opportunity to build trust and learn from each other’s processes which improves our capabilities to fight alongside each other. This has been a unique training exercise that has increased mission readiness and communication with our ROK partners,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Dave Sherwood, CH-47 pilot, 3-2 General Support Aviation Battalion, 2nd Infantry/ROK-U.S. Combined Division.

U.S. Army Ch-47F Chinook helicopters, 2nd Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division, deliver troops to a training area while conducting combined air and ground assault training exercises during Freedom Shield 24, March 13, 2024, at the Korea Combined Training Center in South Korea.
U.S. Army Ch-47F Chinook helicopters, 2nd Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division, deliver troops to a training area while conducting combined air and ground assault training exercises during Freedom Shield 24, March 13, 2024, at the Korea Combined Training Center in South Korea. (U.S. Army photo by KPfc. Lee, Hyun Bin)

The training commenced on the 11th, with the 2nd Rapid Response Division and the 5th Air Mobility Wing infiltrating the target area. On the 12th, follow-up troops secured a landing site through a group descent via a transport aircraft (C-130H) and conducted dropping supplies and equipment. The multi-day training event involved target area infiltration, securing landing zones, supply delivery, and rapid troop movement for successful air assaults. Each unit and airframe conducted thorough planning and communication to work through language and process differences to improve combined readiness.

The 2nd Infantry Division (2ID, 2nd ID) “Indianhead” is a formation of the United States Army. Since the 1960s, its current primary mission is the pre-emptive defense of South Korea in the event of an invasion from North Korea. There are approximately 17,000 soldiers in the 2nd Infantry Division, with 10,000 of them stationed in South Korea, accounting for about 35% of the United States Forces Korea personnel. Denoted the 2nd Infantry Division-ROK/U.S. Combined Division (2ID/RUCD), the division is augmented by rotational Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) from other U.S. Army divisions. The 2nd Infantry Division has a unique structure: there are brigades stationed in the Republic of Korea and at Joint Base Lewis–McChord, Washington.The division also has an attached mechanized brigade from the Republic of Korea Army under the combined-division concept.

U.S. Army Sergeants Qadiyr Ajala and Dustin Spivey assigned to Bravo Company, 3rd General Support Aviation, 2nd Combat Aviation Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, ROK-US Combined Division operate as crew chiefs for a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook during an air assault training event as part of exercise Freedom Shield 24, in South Korea
U.S. Army Sergeants Qadiyr Ajala and Dustin Spivey assigned to Bravo Company, 3rd General Support Aviation, 2nd Combat Aviation Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, ROK-US Combined Division operate as crew chiefs for a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook during an air assault training event as part of exercise Freedom Shield 24, in South Korea. (U.S. Army photo by KPfc. Lee, Hyun Bin)

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