Two Countries, two Corps, one mission
By Pfc. R. Drew Hendricks
| | November 27, 2007
U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES, PACIFIC, CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii --
Two well distinguished services have come together again to discuss and resolve logistical issues within the Korean Theater of Operations.
They met April 12 for the 10th Republic of Korea Marine Corps and U.S. Combined Logistics Staff Talks, at Marine Corps Forces, Pacific.
These talks brought together ROK Marine officers and MARFORPAC Marine logisticians to discuss new technologies and training procedures that can further the advancement of both Corps.
Each organization takes a turn hosting the bi-annual talks at their respective commands.
Some of the meetings are hosted by Marine Forces Korea, at the Youngsan Army Garrison, in Seoul. Other meetings are held by the ROK Marines at their headquarters in Palan, Korea.
“This is only the second time MARFORPAC has had the privilege of hosting the ROK Marines at Camp Smith,” said Larry A. Johnson, MARFORPAC deputy chief of staff, G-4.
Col. Lee Gyeong Soo, deputy commandant, ROK Marine Corps logistics, said he has enjoyed his time in Hawaii.
“Aside from a language barrier, which is broken by a host of translators, the differences in culture do not hinder the mission in any way,” said Johnson.
These talks and training operations have helped improve the ROK Marine officers’ relationship with the U.S. Marines greatly, according to Gyeong Soo.
Along with building cultural connections, these meetings and training operations help to improve both the U.S. and ROK Marine Corps’ operational readiness in the Korean Theater of Operations.
Some of the goals accomplished during these talks include the development and continual update of the Combined Marine Logistic Command, development of the Combined Logistics Operations Center and several other innovations to form a truly combined headquarters during training operations in Korea.
According to Johnson, the overall mission was a success.
“These talks are vital to the success of both countries. It is imperative that we better understand each other, so that we may be prepared for any unforeseen event,” proclaimed Johnson.
After listening to the remarks made by Johnson, Gyeong Soo expressed what he thinks of U.S. Marines. “The ROK Corps has the same mission, and since the U.S. Marine Corps is such a force provider in the world, we strive to be like the U.S. Marines.”
At the end of the meetings Johnson and Gyeong Soo signed a memorandum to commemorate the success of the ROK and U.S. logistics staff talks, and the continuing improvement of logistical support for the future.
“We hold similar talks with the Philippine and Thai Marine Corps, but it started with the ROKs. So we must maintain the same goals and prepare ourselves for any contingency,” said Johnson.
“The U.S. Marine Corps is the finest force in the world when it comes to expeditionary forces,” said Gyeong Soo. “Who better to train with?”