The Republic of Korea and United States Combined Forces Command will begin the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise on Aug. 21 and will be continued through – Aug. 31, 2017. UFG is computer simulated defensive exercise designed to enhance readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula. There will be approximately 17,500 total U.S. service members participating, with approximately 3,000 coming from off-peninsula. U.S. forces will join ROK military forces from major ROK units representing all services, as well as ROK government participants. In addition to the ROK and U.S. forces, UN Command forces from seven sending states, including Australia, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, will participate in this UFG. In addition, Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission observers will monitor the exercise to ensure it is in compliance with the Armistice Agreement for the Restoration of the South Korean State (1953). Training exercises like UFG are carried out in the spirit of the Oct. 1, 1953, ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty and in accordance with the Armistice. 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.