Ulchi Freedom Guardian Exercise Concludes

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Exer­cise Ulchi Free­dom Guardian con­clud­ed today after two weeks of intense train­ing across South Korea.
The com­put­er sim­u­la­tion exer­cise is held every sum­mer to hone the warfight­ing skills of the com­bined defense team in South Korea.

Exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2011
Army Capt. John Spen­gler, front, assigned to the 8th U.S. Army Surgeon’s Office, par­tic­i­pates in Exer­cise Ulchi Free­dom Guardian 2011.
U.S. Army pho­to by Pvt. Kim Gye-myeong
Click to enlarge

Led by the ROK-U.S. Com­bined Forces Com­mand, the exer­cise pro­vides com­man­ders and staff at all lev­els the oppor­tu­ni­ty to train for full-spec­trum mil­i­tary oper­a­tions.

Dur­ing the exer­cise, the 8th U.S. Army moved its oper­a­tional head­quar­ters from one post to anoth­er and set up a joint task force head­quar­ters. Army Lt. Gen. John D. John­son, the 8th Army’s com­man­der, said his unit “is evolv­ing to bet­ter-sup­port the Repub­lic of Korea-U.S. Alliance.”

An impor­tant part of that evo­lu­tion, John­son said, is his unit’s abil­i­ty to quick­ly set up a deploy­able com­bined head­quar­ters, with a U.S. and ROK inte­grat­ed staff. John­son said he was pleased with the results of this year’s exer­cise.

“I’m absolute­ly con­vinced that we can tack­le what­ev­er chal­lenges are thrown at us,” the gen­er­al said. “We are ready to deter or defeat any threat here on the Kore­an Penin­su­la.” John­son also praised the efforts of oth­er U.S. Army units that sup­port­ed the exer­cise, includ­ing U.S. Army Pacif­ic, III Corps, the Penn­syl­va­nia Army Nation­al Guard’s 28th Infantry Divi­sion, the 20th Sup­port Com­mand and the 200th Mil­i­tary Police Com­mand.

“I’m proud of how our entire Army team per­formed dur­ing this exer­cise,” the gen­er­al said. “This train­ing helps pre­pare us to rapid­ly respond to any provo­ca­tion or cri­sis, and be ready to fight and win.”

Com­mand Sgt. Maj. Rod­ney D. Har­ris, the 8th Army’s senior non­com­mis­sioned offi­cer, said the exer­cise gave his sol­diers the oppor­tu­ni­ty to train as they would fight.

“And I was thor­ough­ly impressed by their pride, pro­fes­sion­al­ism and ded­i­ca­tion,” Har­ris said.

Ulchi Free­dom Guardian is one of the largest annu­al mil­i­tary com­mand post exer­cis­es in the world. The sec­ond of two annu­al exer­cis­es held in South Korea, UFG fol­lows exer­cise Key Resolve/Foal Eagle, which takes place each spring.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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