By U.S. Forces KoreaMarch 10, 2009
SEOUL, South Korea (Army News Service March 10, 2009) -- Key Resolve/Foal Eagle 2009 began Monday and will continue through March 20 across the Republic of Korea.
About 13,100 troops from outside Korea will participate in this yearAca,!a,,cs exercise, along with those already in the country, officials said. They added that this is consistent with previous yearsAca,!a,,c participation.
"These exercises are designed to help teach, coach, and mentor military members from both the ROK and U.S., while exercising senior leaders' decision-making capabilities," said Gen. Walter Sharp, commander of the Combined Forces Command. "The primary goal is to ensure the command is ready to defend the ROK in the event it becomes necessary.Aca,!A?
Last year, the name of the exercise changed from Aca,!A"Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration/Foal Eagle.Aca,!A? RSOI was changed in March 2008 to Key Resolve to reflect the changing roles of American troops on the peninsula, officials said.
Key Resolve is primarily a command-post exercise with computer-based simulations that focus on deploying troops and equipment to Korea in the event of an attack. Foal Eagle includes a series of field exercises. Both exercises have U.S. troops training with South Korean servicemembers.
As it does before each annual exercise, United Nations Command informed the Korean People's Army in North Korea that the Republic of Korea and the U.S. would be conducting the routine defensive exercise. The United Nations Command also reassured the Korean People's Army at general officer-level talks held March 6 that these exercises, conducted annually in or around March, are purely defensive in nature and have no connection to ongoing or current events.
"KR/FE is a routine training exercise that takes place every year at about the same time," said Sharp. "It is not tied in any way to any political or real-world event."
The Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission, which includes a group of officers from Switzerland and Sweden, will be on hand to monitor the exercise and ensure there are no violations of the Armistice Agreement.
As part of the exercise, Task Force Hawkins, an Army battalion, deployed from the United States, and is drawing equipment from Army Preposition Stock-4 at Camp Carrol, Korea. The task force will conduct live-fire exercises at Rodriguez Range.
Special Operations Command Korea conducted airborne jumps with a helium blimp and gondola at the ROK Drop Zone, March 5, prior to the official start of the exercise.
The jump was an opportunity for Special Operations Command Korea augmentees that are assigned or attached during Exercise Key Resolve 09 to jump with active members.
Aca,!A"The blimps make an ideal aircraft as they are much less expensive to operate than a high performance aircraft,Aca,!A? said Col. Larry Greene, SOCKOR deputy commander for transformation and one of the jumpers.
The jump occurred simultaneously with Republic of Korea or ROK Airborne student jumps and ROK counter-terrorism unit jumps. ROK forces assisted with the manifest, parachute issue, and jumpmaster inspections.
Aca,!A"This is our first time in Korea,Aca,!A? said Maj. Wall, who is the Maryland National Guard detachment commander.
Aca,!A"It is a great opportunity for our Airborne Soldiers to get a jump and our unit to support the mission here,Aca,!A? said Sgt. 1st Class Glenn Steiner, a West Virginia National Guardsman, who is a Special Forces Soldier from the Special Operations Detachment Aca,!" Stuttgart, Germany.
The exercise is designed to test all phases of the reception, staging, onward movement and integration processes, officials said.