The South Korean Marines are participating in a multi-country joint military drill spearheaded by the US and the Philippines Marines for the first time. The Marines said Friday they would deploy a squadron (some 120 soldiers) to the 2022 KAMANDAG drill, which will take place on Luzon Island in the Philippines between Oct. 3 and 13. On Saturday, the squadron will take an Airforce transporter (C-130) bound for the Philippines.
The KAMANDAG drill is a multi-country joint drill, which the U.S. and Philippines Marines have been conducting since 2017 to improve joint operation capabilities between allies. This year, the drill brings together more than 3,300 soldiers from four countries, including the U.S. (about 2,500), the Philippines (about 600), and Japan (about 300). KAMANDAG is short for the Philippine words “cooperation between naval warriors.”
The South Korean Marines will conduct a joint landing operation, live-fire shooting, and marine and airborne penetration exercises during the drill. “We have been thoroughly preparing for participation since receiving a request from the U.S. and Philippines Marines last year,” said a source in the South Korean Marines. “We will experience diverse landing operations in the Philippines, which comprises more than 7,000 islands, and share know-how and technique with the U.S. and the Philippines Marines while solidifying the South Korea-U.S. alliance.”
The South Korean Marines have been improving their joint operation capability and contributing to international military cooperation by participating in various joint drills overseas, including RIMPAC, a multi-country joint maritime drill, the Cobra Gold in Thailand, and the Talisman Saver in Australia.