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[2023 Freedom Shield combined exercise] Let's pave our way forward!

The 3rd Engineer Brigade of the Army staged live mobility training to overcome enemy obstacles


Organized a task force to enhance mobility to reduce enemy obstacles

Removed obstacles such as trees with mountain excavators

Minefield breaching vehicle paved roads

The Engineer Brigade, Armored Brigade, and Reconnaissance Company worked together in perfect coordination


[2023 Freedom Shield combined exercise] Let

P1. 0320 [2023 FS combined exercise] “Let's pave our way forward” (Lee Won-jun)

[2023 Freedom Shield combined exercise] Let

P2 Using TNT explosions to clear a path for tactical maneuvers

[2023 Freedom Shield combined exercise] Let

P3 The K600 CEV clears obstacles while in motion.


Eight units, including the Army's Third Engineer Brigade, engaged in high-intensity combined arms training that incorporated the unique characteristics of the DMZ. These units participated in live mobility exercises that focused on overcoming obstacles posed by enemy forces at the Korea Combat Training Center (KCTC) in Inje-gun, Gangwon-do from March 13 to 17. During our visit to the training site, we had the opportunity to meet with individuals who successfully overcame various obstacles and achieved their objectives. Written by Park Sang-won, photo by Lee Gyeong-won.


The “Spider” excavator demonstrates its capabilities in challenging situations


Upon arriving at the KCTC training site in Inje-gun, Gangwon-do at 8:30 a.m. on March 17, I quickly realized that I was in a highly remote area, as my smartphone data network was disconnected.


Without much time to marvel at the surroundings, I observed that eight units, including the 3rd Engineer Brigade and the 111st Engineer Battalion, had assembled as a "task force for enhanced mobility to overcome enemy obstacles." Their objective was to create roads in areas where there were none to facilitate the advancement of our military, and to remove obstacles installed by the enemy.


The training commenced with the creation of an imaginary scenario where the enemy had installed landmines and stone obstacles to impede the mobility of our forces. The 3rd Engineer Brigade, which organized the training, evaluated the situation and directed the use of a mountain excavator due to the presence of obstructions such as trees blocking entry.


The soldier operating the mountain excavator seemed tense as it was the first time it had been used in Army training. Sergeant First Class Lee Bo-bin explained that unlike a standard excavator, a mountain excavator has four legs that can be operated independently, allowing for better balance and overall performance. Despite the initial apprehension, the soldier did not encounter any difficulties in carrying out his tasks.


After the excavator successfully completed the mission, our forces encountered stone obstacles set up by the enemy. They used strong TNT to overcome this obstacle, with soldiers standing 250 meters away from the location ready to push the detonation button.


After the soldiers chanted “Detonate, detonate, detonate!,” the stone obstacles were completely obliterated by a powerful explosion.


Unstoppable movement of the minefield breaching vehicle


The mountain excavator successfully removed the obstacles, but the landmines were still a potential threat that needed to be addressed. The K600 CEV (Combat Engineer Vehicle) was then deployed to remove the practice mines, making a loud noise. The minefield breaching vehicle advanced continuously, pushing aside heavy earth and gravel. The vehicle created a path that was about 4.8 meters wide, allowing four K1E1 tanks and four K200 armored personnel carriers to pass through easily.


The 3rd Engineer Brigade concluded that the five-day combined arms training successfully achieved its objectives by developing combat skills that corresponded to the functions and equipment of each unit.


The engineering brigade cleared the way for other units to move safely, while the armored brigade operated on the paths created by the engineering brigade to protect the operations of troops. The reconnaissance company then subdued the enemy. All participating units worked together seamlessly like a well-oiled machine, demonstrating their excellent teamwork and cooperation.


The commander of the 111th Engineering Battalion, Lt. Col. Kwon Hyeok-il, stated that the exercise provided valuable lessons about the importance of communication and interoperability among units in achieving success during wartime operations. He emphasized the need for continuous and intensive realistic training to enhance their abilities and effectively carry out assigned missions in any situation.

By Won-jun, Lee <Won-jun,>

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