Ulchi Freedom Guardian

Monday August 28, 2017

What is it?

Ulchi Freedom Guardian is a computer-simulated defensive exercise designed to enhance readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula. The focus of the exercise is on strategic, operational, and tactical aspects of general military operations in the Korean theater of operations.

The scope of the exercise extends beyond the Korean Peninsula and takes a whole-of-government approach. The exercise is conducted at U.S. Combined Forces Command and Republic of Korea (ROK) military installations throughout South Korea. The exercise is tied to the ROK government’s national defense exercise Ulchi.

Training exercises like Ulchi Freedom Guardian are carried out in the spirit of the Oct. 1, 1953, ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty and in accordance with the armistice.

What has the Army done?

In July 1976, in anticipation of the establishment of a combined forces command, the annual ROK government mobilization exercise Ulchi was combined with UNC/U.S. Forces Command/Eighth U.S. Army’s command post exercise Focus Lens.

Exercise Ulchi-Focus Lens was institutionalized to enhance ROK-U.S. interoperability by training commanders and staffs from both nations in wartime planning, command and control operations, intelligence, logistics, and personnel procedures required for the successful defense of the ROK. The name of the exercise was changed to Ulchi Freedom Guardian in 2008.

Republic of Korea and U.S. Combined Forces Command will hold the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise Aug. 21-31. Approximately 17,500 U.S. service members will participate in UFG 17.

What continued efforts are planned for the future?

The Army will continue to strengthen the enduring ROK-U.S. relationship that began more than 60 years ago. Participation in exercises like Ulchi Freedom Guardian enhances peace and stability in the Korean joint operations area. Continuing to invest in combined and joint training exercises will improve ROK-U.S. readiness and interoperability in the K-JOA.

Why is this important to the Army?

Such exercises provide the Army leadership with viable military options if necessary and helps to sharpen the Army’s ability to support when required. USARPAC strives to achieve the national strategy through deterrence, maintaining contingency forces needed to defend against expanding threats. Ulchi Freedom Guardian demonstrates U.S. commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea as well as the security and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the Pacific region.

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