USAG Humphreys, Republic of Korea —
Combined Forces Command (CFC), United States Forces Korea (USFK), United Nations Command (UNC), and subordinate component commands under CFC, along with augmentees, civilian personnel and representatives of the United Nations sending states, began the Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) exercise Monday, August 22, 2022.
Recently, the name of the exercise was updated to highlight the integration of the ROK government (Ulchi) into the exercise. This integration will help enhance the government and military’s crisis management procedures under the combined defense regime of the ROK-U.S. Alliance. The word 'Freedom' in the name is meant as a display of the strong will in protecting freedom as an immutable value of the ROK-U.S. Alliance, and 'Shield' symbolizes the defensive nature of the exercise.
The exercise is an 11-day computer simulated, defense-oriented training event designed to enhance the ROK-U.S. combined defense posture, maintain readiness, and strengthen the security and stability on the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia.
Unique to this exercise will be that the CFC commander and deputy commander will switch duties and responsibilities to conduct the Full Operational Capability (FOC) assessment during UFS as bilaterally agreed upon by the ROK minister of defense and U.S. secretary of defense in December 2021.
“Ulchi Freedom Shield 22-2 is an opportunity for Gen. Ahn, Byung-Seok and me to trade leadership duties based on the Future-Combined Forces Command construct as outlined by both of our defense secretaries late last year. This is significant because for the first time ever, the CFC deputy commander will take the lead as the Future CFC commander,” said Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/United States Forces Korea commander.
Protection of the force and participants during Ulchi Freedom Shield is a top priority to ensure the exercise objectives are achieved. CFC, USFK and UNC will implement COVID-19 guidelines and protective measures provided by the ROK and U.S. governments to protect the force and maintain combat readiness.
The ROK-U.S. Alliance remains at a high level of readiness and continues to maintain a robust combined defense posture. UFS is the latest example of our ironclad commitment to maintain peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia.
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