Two MV-22 Osprey squadrons to join marine drills in Korea

By 정주원
  • Published : Mar 20, 2014 - 10:02
  • Updated : Mar 20, 2014 - 10:02

At least two MV-22 Osprey squadrons will take part in one of the largest-ever joint amphibious landing drills to be staged by South Korea and the United States, a Pentagon official said Wednesday.

The allies plan to open this year's Ssang Yong (double dragon) exercise next week on the southeast coast of Korea as part of their broader annual military training code-named Foal Eagle.

There will be an MV-22 aerial assault exercise on April 2, involving about 2,000 troops, the official said.

"There will be a lot of Ospreys involved; two squadrons and probably some extra MV-22s. One Osprey can carry about 20 people," the official said.

Osprey is an American multi-mission, military, tiltrotor aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.

The Ssang Yong training to kick off next Thursday for a 120-day run is expected to involve about 7,500 U.S. Marines and 2,000 U.S. Navy personnel as well as 3,500 South Korean Marines and 1,000 South Korean Navy sailors.

A rehearsal for the joint amphibious landing will take place on March 29, followed by actual training two days later, according to the official.

"The scale of this year's Ssang Yong is greater than any other in the past, proving the Navy and Marine Corps' ability to conduct the full spectrum of a combined arms, amphibious landing operation in cooperation with our international partners," the Pentagon said earlier.

The upcoming Ssang Yong exercise will apparently be the biggest joint marine drills between the two nations since those held during Team Spirit in the early 1990s. (Yonhap)