Eighth Army begins annual exercise Freedom Shield 2024

By Eighth Army Public Affairs OfficeMarch 4, 2024

Artillerymen from the 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division fire the M77A2 Howitzer during a combined arms live-fire exercise alongside the Republic of Korea Army at the Mugun-ri Training Center in Paju, Gyeonggi-do, Korea Aug. 16, 2023. The combined live fire was part of the ongoing Ulchi Freedom Shield 23. The annual exercise is designed to strengthen the combined defense posture and Alliance response capabilities based on scenarios that reflect diverse threats within the security environment. The rigorous training will ensure the Alliance is ready to defend the Republic of Korea and promote security and stability in Northeast Asia.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Artillerymen from the 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division fire the M77A2 Howitzer during a combined arms live-fire exercise alongside the Republic of Korea Army at the Mugun-ri Training Center in Paju, Gyeonggi-do, Korea Aug. 16, 2023. The combined live fire was part of the ongoing Ulchi Freedom Shield 23. The annual exercise is designed to strengthen the combined defense posture and Alliance response capabilities based on scenarios that reflect diverse threats within the security environment. The rigorous training will ensure the Alliance is ready to defend the Republic of Korea and promote security and stability in Northeast Asia. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Capt. Nancy Gomez) VIEW ORIGINAL
Insignia of the United States Eighth Army.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Insignia of the United States Eighth Army. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army graphic) VIEW ORIGINAL

USAG HUMPHREYS, South Korea — Eighth Army began its portion of Freedom Shield 2024 on Sunday, March 3.

Freedom Shield is an 11-day exercise where South Korea and the United States train to reflect the Korea Theater of Operations, a combined, joint, multi-domain and interagency operating environment.

Participation in this annual exercise aims to improve interoperability between Combined Forces Command, United States Forces Korea, the United Nations Command and ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff, ensuring their ability to fortify the combined defense posture and enhance Alliance response capabilities against a spectrum of security threats. It will feature live, virtual, constructive, and field-based training, engaging personnel from the military services and other federal agencies.

During the exercise, Eighth Army conducts extensive combined training with the Republic of Korea Army, both on training ranges and within combined operations centers throughout South Korea. All six of Eighth Army’s major subordinate commands participate.

Eighth Army exercise participants include the 2nd Infantry Division - ROK-US Combined Division, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, 65th Medical Brigade, 1st Tactical Theater Signal Brigade and 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

Eighth Army and ROK Army units are the ground component of one of the key training points of FS24, which is conducting multi-domain operations leveraging land, sea, air, cyber and space assets with emphasis on counter nuclear operations and non-kinetic effects. Combined training exercises with the ROKA include live-fire gunneries and command and control integration. Medical and logistics training events will also be conducted.

Training with the ROK Army allows for seamless coordination and combined operations, enhancing Eighth Army’s overall defense capabilities. The combined training exercises and shared intelligence contribute to a high level of interoperability, enabling Eighth Army to respond swiftly and effectively to any threat.

Conducted in the spirit of the Oct. 1, 1953, ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty and in support of the Armistice Agreement, FS24 underscores the enduring military partnership between the ROK and the U.S. It reinforces the role of the alliance as a linchpin for regional peace and security, reaffirming the unwavering commitment of the U.S. to defend the ROK.

In conjunction with FS24, ROK-led and U.S.-led units will conduct several large-scale, combined training sessions, enhancing interoperability and elevating combat readiness. These exercises aim to bolster security and stability not only on the Korean peninsula but also across Northeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific.