This past summer, I and three of my U.S. Coast Guard Academy classmates had the opportunity to participate in an eight-day exchange with the South Korean Coast Guard Academy (KCGA) in Yeosu, South Korea, 200 miles south of Seoul on the Korea Strait.
We participated in small boat operations, learning firsthand how they operate their equipment to combat against illegal fishing. We reviewed the principles of basic damage control, and toured their training ship, the KCG Badaro, different in almost every way from the mighty barque USCGC Eagle (WIX-327). Unlike the Eagle, the Badaro is a modern vessel with state-of-the art training facilities that provide cadets an enriching underway experience. The cadets operate and fire live weapon systems; launch and recover small boats; work on various engineering platforms; and fine tune their shiphandling. We also trained in heavy weather simulators, which the KCG use to develop their equivalent to aviation survival technicians (AST).