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An 81mm mortar launches a projectile during a combined-arms live-fire exercise Friday at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex in South Korea.
An 81mm mortar launches a projectile during a combined-arms live-fire exercise Friday at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex in South Korea. (Eric Arndt / Courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps)

SEOUL — Members of the Okinawa-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted combined-arms live-fire exercise late last week at South Korea’s Rodriguez Live Fire Complex.

“We don’t have the opportunity to do that often and so we’re taking every advantage of this facility to improve our capabilities,” Col. John Mayer, 31st MEU commander, said in a Marine news release.

The training was part of their preparation for the upcoming Foal Eagle exercise, an annual peninsula-wide joint combined field training that focuses on rear area security and stability operations, onward movement of equipment and other issues.

Using light armored reconnaissance vehicles, 81 mm mortars and AH-1W Super Cobra and UH-1N Huey aircraft, Marines engaged targets with surface-to-air munitions during the exercise, the release said.

Exercise participants said their training was the first of its kind in more than a year.

“This range allowed us to practice our firing commands and communications between vehicles while engaging targets,” said Cpl. Spencer Steffey, a light-armored vehicle gunner. “At one point, we were able to let another vehicle know when we had a jammed gun so they could pick up the fire support.”

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