DoD Announces Start of Exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian
South Korea and U.S. Combined Forces Command will hold the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise Aug. 21-31, defense officials announced today.
Ulchi Freedom Guardian is a computer-simulated defensive exercise designed to enhance readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula, defense officials said. About 17,500 U.S. service members will participate, with about 3,000 coming from installations outside South Korea, the officials said.
U.S. forces will join military forces from major South Korean units representing all services, as well as South Korean government participants. In addition, United Nations Command forces from seven nations, including Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, will participate in the exercise.
Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission observers will monitor the exercise to ensure it complies with the 1953 armistice agreement, defense officials said. Training exercises like Ulchi Freedom Guardian are carried out in the spirit of the Oct. 1, 1953, South Korean-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty and in accordance with the armistice, the officials added.
"These exercises also highlight the longstanding military partnership, commitment and enduring friendship between the two nations, help to ensure peace and security on the peninsula, and reaffirm U.S. commitment to the alliance," the defense officials said.