CHINHAE NAVY BASE, Korea — SEALs from both the Republic of Korea Naval Special Warfare Brigade and U.S. Naval Special Warfare recently conducted combined training here as part of exercise FOAL EAGLE 2011. The focus of training was to enhance interoperability between the SEAL elements and to enhance the alliance’s maritime Special Operations capabilities.
SEALs conducted clandestine missions infiltrating objective areas by fixed and rotary wing aircraft, Navy surface ships, combatant craft, submarines, and ground mobility vehicles. Also participating in the training were MH-47 helicopters from the U.S. 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, or SOAR.
The 160th SOAR employs a unique combination of sophisticated and highly modified aircraft which provide all special operations forces precision rotary wing infiltration/exfiltration capabilities in adverse weather and all terrain environments. During the exercise the MH-47 helicopters supported day and night combined U.S. and ROK SEAL fast rope insertions for the conduct of visit, board, search, and seizure events, known as VBSS, in Chinhae Harbor. The target ship was provided by the ROK Navy. U.S. and ROK SEALS also conducted maritime insertion VBSS events as well. In addition to the VBSS training, SEAL elements also conducted live fire shoot house training, mission planning process exchanges, as well as focused medical training.
Overall, the training opportunity provided by Foal Eagle to the U.S. and ROK SEALs as well as the 160th SOAR was used to great advantage by all participants. It reinforced the preparedness of special operations forces in defense of the Republic of Korea, its citizens and the alliance.