FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii (Aug. 20, 2014) -- Ulchi-Freedom Guardian 2014, a 10-day annual computerized command-and-control exercise, kicked off Monday.
More than 25 Hawaii-based Soldiers from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command, joined the 50,000 South Korea troops, and 30,000 U.S. Soldiers throughout the Pacific, for the combined and joint training.
"This year's UFG 14 (Ulchi-Freedom Guardian 2014) training exercise will include 10 United Nations Sending States members. Their importance of their participation in UFG 14 highlights the importance of our alliance partnerships and teamwork," said Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, the commander of the Combined Forces Command. "This is a critical milestone as we continue to enhance interoperability and common understanding to best support the defense of the Republic of Korea."
The 10 United Nations sending states scheduled to participate in UFG 2014 are: Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom. In addition, the 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).
Beginning in 1976, the exercise's purpose is to enhance the combat readiness of the Republic of Korea and U.S. forces as well as maintain the stability on the Korean Peninsula. UFG highlights the longstanding and enduring partnership and friendship between the two nations and their combined commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and ensuring peace and security in the region.
UFG, like all Command Forces Command exercises, is routine and defense-oriented, designed to enhance readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula. It is planned months in advance, and it is not connected to any current world events.
Training exercises like UFG are carried out in the spirit of the Oct. 1, 1953, Republic of Korea-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty, and in accordance with the Armistice.
"We are looking forward to participating in this year's training," said Capt. John Kiefer, the plans and operations officer for the 8th TSC. "The U.S., 8th TSC and [Republic of Korea] have a great relationship that we are excited to see flourish for many years to come."