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S. Korean, US armies stage combined training exercises in California

This photo, captured from the US Fort Irwin National Training Center's Twitter account on last Friday, shows a large-scale contingency training exercise. (US Fort Irwin National Training Center's Twitter account)
This photo, captured from the US Fort Irwin National Training Center's Twitter account on last Friday, shows a large-scale contingency training exercise. (US Fort Irwin National Training Center's Twitter account)
Dozens of South Korean troops visited a US military training center in California and staged combined training exercises with American service members, officials said Wednesday.

Around 50 Army members, including those from a reconnaissance unit, carried out various joint maneuvers with the US troops at the US Fort Irwin National Training Center (NTC) for about a month from mid-October, according to the officials.

They returned home Tuesday and have been quarantined for the new coronavirus, they added.

Initially, the Army was scheduled to send troops to the training center earlier this year, but the plan was postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The NTC had been closed for months to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.     

"The visit was made after careful consideration of diverse circumstances and close coordination between the two sides," an Army officer said. "The two sides conducted combined exercises to check a readiness posture and strengthen relations."

Located in the Mojave Desert, the NTC is one of the major training areas for the US military and is designed to provide realistic joint and combined arms training. (Yonhap)
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