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[30th Division] Patriotism in hot blood … even Jack Frost raised...

[30th Division] Patriotism in hot blood … even Jack Frost raised a flag of truce


K1A1 tank catching an enemy tank, “Target confirmed! Loaded, bang”
Well-prepared soldiers through repeated physical training and bivouac
demonstrated their perfect mission capabilities in spite of worst conditions



On the morning of December 18, reaching the peak of a cold wave. Soldiers of the Wild Horse Unit, Ssangyong Brigade, the 30th Army Division, had a winter tactical training in cold weather to go head-to-head with Jack Frost. On this very day in Paju and Yangju, Gyeonggi-do, the mercury fell to minus 17 degrees. A bitter wind never stopped reverberating, and the ground turned white. The soldiers' breath met the piercing wind, forming frost and covering their eyebrows. On the coldest day for the first time this winter, they were overcoming the intense cold, being eager to protect the nation. The training was conducted as a bilateral one by assuming the 2nd and 3rd companies as a virtual enemy. They were all covered in white, even the turret, gun barrel and the front of the body of K1A1 tanks.

 ■ Completely destroyed the enemy’s tanks with identification of quick ID panel

Position A. About 30 K1A1 tanks appeared, making a roaring sound. They were equipped with a defensive glide structure on their tracks to prevent skidding on the snowy road. The defensive glide structure left their footprints on the road just like being chopped with an ax.

“The right side, occupy the post!”

As a tank commander commanded the driver, the forward observation occupied a good post. Then, all the tanks disappeared and occupied their posts as if they made a promise. There was a silent tension in the air.

Soon after, the tank commander found an enemy tank using the Korea Commander’s Panoramic Sight (KCPS) and quickly identified the ID panel that was written as “X3B” on the side of the gun turret. When the commander shouted “Gunner antiballistic. Enemy tank in front!”, the gunner replied, “Target confirmed! Aimed.” An ammunition bearer also cried, “Loaded!”

“Bang!” a sound  mimicked the cannon reverberating through an explosive sound device with white smoke. The commander reported the ID panel to the battle judge and it transferred to the battle judge center again. The ID panel-identified enemy was considered to be partially destroyed at that side, so it pinned the orange flag. Right after that, the following tank on maneuver identified the rear ID panel which led to it being completely destroyed.

Master Sergeant Lee Hyun-Jung, the tank commander, said, “We took care not to be slipped on the frozen ground. It cannot be helped that the movement is blunt due to the cold weather, but I could gain self-confidence to overcome warfare whenever it breaks out.”

And Sergeant Kim Sung-Gyun, the gunner who has three months before being discharged, said, “It’s a cold weather training, but for me, it was a hot one. I was sweating buckets trying to focus on my last training. I’ve fired the gun finding a black mark on the enemy’s tank with determination to protect myself and my fellow soldiers.”

The battalion started the cold weather training on December 13 and it lasted until the 22nd. They practiced fighting abilities to perform the perfect mission no matter what unfavorable conditions they might be in.

This training was prepared to experience the biting weather conditions and have a cold resistance adaptation and winter operations capabilities.

In particular, it ensured the condition that a company-level commander could command the scene in accordance with the battlefield environment and situations.

During the bilateral training, company commanders engaged in the training by using geographic information and road circumstances confirmed in advance and unfolding their own tactics.

Although heavy snow and a cold wave were predicted before the training, there was nothing to discourage the heat of the soldiers. They participated in the training with a strong will, “I can do!” and self-confidence.

The unit prepared for the cold resistance adaptation through repeated strengthening of physical strength and bivouac in advance. They have been ready to realize the training goal, which is “accorded with the features of a mechanized unit.”

Especially at this enemy’s fire-provocation-assumed training, it started with establishment of tactical plans and raised anti-tank mission capability through the open field maneuver training of K1A1 tanks and company bilateral training.

Meanwhile, the battle judge system using the ID panel created the actual tactical situation. In addition, they run parallel with ammunition resupply, treatment of massive casualties, and frozen area preparedness training, so that they could develop the ability to cope with a variety of unexpected situations.

And through the overnight training, they demonstrated the potential of the mechanized unit, which is able to carry out the mission in spite of severe cold weather.

“I can rely on my men completing their mission in the cold. I am so proud of them to overcome the difficulties and weather conditions with self-confidence and an ‘I can do it!’ attitude”. said Lieutenant Colonel, Park Kyung-Ho, the commander of the Wild Horse Unit.

And Captain Kim Du-Hoe, the 1st Company’s commander, said, “I’ve experienced all the situations I can go through in cold weather. And I’ve found out that the result would be different according to how much we prepared.”

By Ah-Mi, Cho < >
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