Marines: South Korea Marines Expand


March 23, 2011: The South Korean Marine Corps is expanding again, over the next six years. Thus the marines will have gone from 25,000 men to 32,000 in about a decade. Currently the marines are organized into two divisions and a brigade. But part of the expansion will include the formation of a new brigade and helicopter squadron to help guard the North Korean border on the west coast. The aviation battalion will use 40 of the new KUHs (Korean Utility Helicopter). Nicknamed "Surion," KUH carries two pilots and 11 passengers. It can be armed with 7.62mm machine-guns. Some 60 percent of the components are made in South Korea. The 8.7 ton KUH can hover at up to 3,000 meters and has a top speed of 240 kilometers an hour.

Currently, the South Korea marines are is equipped with 60 LVTP-7 amphibious vehicles, 42 AAV-7A1s (a modified version of the U.S. LVTP-7) and 60 K-1 tanks. This force is officially under the control of the South Korean Navy, but usually operates under command of the army. Currently, about 5,000 marines are stationed in the area, including nearby islands. The new brigade will expand this force.

The South Korean marines are considered an elite force, even though many of the troops are draftees. But all the marines are volunteers, and the training is tough. It's considered an honor to be a marine, and their original mentors, the U.S. Marine Corps, has long acknowledged that their Korean counterparts learned their lessons well.



Article Archive

Marines: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close