DAEJON, Republic of Korea -- A U.S. delegation met with their Republic of Korea counterparts in Daejon, South Korea, last week for the first Army-to-Army staff talks between the two countries. The purpose of the talks was to improve ROK-U.S. interoperability, improve ROK capacity and further strengthen ROK-U.S. relationships.

The U.S. delegation was led by Brig. Gen. Edward Donnelly, deputy director, Strategy, Plans and Policy, Army G-3/5. It consisted of representatives from the Department of the Army headquarters, U.S. Army Pacific Command, 8th U.S. Army and subject-matter experts from other Army organizations.

Brig. Gen. Lee Jong-duk, deputy director of Plans and Policy for the ROK Army, led the ROK delegation.

The two-day talks included briefings by both sides on the current status of their respective armies. Working groups then focused on two specific areas: modeling and simulation, and force management. All discussions were framed by the ongoing transformation of the two armies, as well as the transition of operational control (OPCON) of the ROK Army to Korea in April 2012.

Both sides considered the talks a great success. Donnelly characterized them as highly successful, and Lee commented that they exceeded his expectations.

The U.S. only holds Army-to-Army staff talks with 16 armies around the world. The inclusion of Korea pointed out the importance of the ROK-U.S. Alliance to America and indicated the level of confidence the U.S. has in Korea's ability to have continued success after OPCON transition.

Delegations will meet again in March for a 6-month progress review, and again in March 2011, for a second round of talks on other topics.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16