Eighth Army participates in Ground Forces Festival
GYERYONG, South Korea — Republic of Korea Ground Forces held their 11th annual festival from October 2 through 6 in Gyeryong-city in Choongnam, South Korea, near ROK Army headquarters.
This year’s festival included performances by Girl’s Day, the honorary ambassadors this year’s festival, a Black Eagle air show, demonstrations by the ROKA Honor Guard, ROKA Martial Arts team, ROK Army Special Forces, ROK Army Airborne, military marching band and orchestra performances, Eighth Army military working dog shows and fireworks displays. There were also many other interactive venues including electronic and paintball shooting ranges, rappelling, rope bridges and other obstacles to familiarize the public with some of the types of training their military forces conduct.
Just as in all preceding years, Eighth Army was proud to support the ROK Ground Forces Festival with various military vehicles and aircraft, provided by 2nd Infantry Division to be displayed during the festival. This year, Eighth Army was also was given booth space inside the main display tent titled, the Elite Army Hall, to highlight the ROK-U.S. Alliance as part of the celebration of the 60th year of armistice.
Staff Sgt. Dustin Hooker, the USAG Yongsan Army kennel master, from the 503rd Military Working Dog Detachment, part of 142nd Military Police Company, said he really enjoyed doing the show and showing the GFF attendees the ROK Military Police forces what the U.S. military working dogs do. He said he just found out that the ROK forces have military working dogs too and hopes to have them work together at next year’s festival.
Eighth Army portion of the main display tent focused on the ROK-U.S. Alliance. It provided festival-goers an opportunity to compete in a push-up contest to test their physical endurance against their U.S. allies and their and fellow countrymen with chance to win an Eighth Army t-shirt and bragging-rights on the Eighth Army Facebook page as the push-up contest winner. They were also given the opportunity to take photos in the photo zone with U.S. Soldiers to honor the friendship that exists between the United States and the Republic of Korea. Finally there was a video zone for participants to rest while watching videos of the Eighth Army Best Warrior Competition (the annual contest to see who the best U.S. Army warrior in Korea is) and various other Army videos.
The photo zones for both Eighth Army and ROK forces were favorites among the attendees in the main tent, and many photos were taken at the vehicle and aircraft static displays outside as well.
The 2013 Ground Force Festival, one of the largest festivals in South Korea, hosted more than 1.2 million people during the course of the event and stands as a testament to South Korean people’s support of their military forces and the 60th anniversary of the armistice.