YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea (March 9, 2012) -- Eighth Army trained with its South Korean allies during exercise Key Resolve from Feb. 27 through March 9.
Defensive in nature, the annual computer simulation exercise is conducted by the Republic of Korea-United States Combined Forces Command around the same time every year.
Exercise Foal Eagle, a field training exercise held from March 1 to April 30, coincides with Exercise Key Resolve. The command post and field exercises incorporate the full range of equipment, capabilities and personnel.
Eighth Army Operational Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Eldon Regua said both exercises enable Eighth Army to maintain its mission readiness, deter aggression and maintain security in Northeast Asia.
"Eighth Army maintains readiness by training all year-round," said Regua. "But these peninsula-wide exercises give us the opportunity to bring it all together and train with our ROK (Republic of Korea) allies at the strategic, operational and tactical level."
During Key Resolve 2012, Eighth Army practiced its role as a combined joint task force headquarters from a mobile command post and integrated dozens of Republic of Korea Army officers into the task force.
According to 1st Lt. Chrysa Gumbs, the exercise enabled Eighth Army to train side-by-side with its ROK allies, subordinate commands and units from around the world.
"I can see that everyone is dedicated to their jobs and very excited to be part of this exercise," said Gumbs, from the Eighth Army Operational Fires Directorate.
Sgt. Barron Marcus, from the Eighth Army General Staff, said the Soldiers involved in Key Resolve were training like they would fight.
"We are focused and motivated on accomplishing our mission," said Marcus.
Regua thanked the other U.S. Army units that supported Key Resolve 2012 from off the peninsula, including U.S. Army Pacific, 200th Military Police Command and 20th Support Command.
Capt. Song Myung-gin, from the ROK Army's 12th Division, served in the combined task force during the Exercise Key Resolve.
"The language barrier was the biggest concern for both ROK and U.S. Soldiers," said Song. "However, with the help from dedicated Korean Augmentation to U.S. Army Soldiers and professional translators, the communication and collaboration between the two counterparts became more smooth and seamless as the exercise went on."
Taking part in her first ROK-U.S. combined exercise, Song said the exercise gave the ROK and U.S. military members a chance to learn more about each other.
"I believe that we've improved a lot from participating in this exercise," said Song. "The most exciting thing was that we've been able to establish trust and rapport with each other."
According to Regua, the members of the combined joint task force came together quickly and formed a mission ready team.
"Everyone performed magnificently and proved they can integrate seamlessly into our operations," said Regua.
Regua said Exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle keep the ROK-U.S. Alliance ready to execute its critical tasks.
"With the shift in the U.S. military's focus by the Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Leon Panetta, to the Asia Pacific region, our alliance has never been more important than it is today," said Regua. "We continue to stand side-by-side with our ROK allies defending liberty on Freedom's Frontier and providing security in this vital region of the world."