Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources including The Korea Times By Jung Sung-ki
(NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - August 15, 2010: The militaries of South Korea and the United States will start their annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) exercise Aug. 16 amid growing tension on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea’s continued provocations.
The computerized simulation war games, which will run through Aug. 26, follow South Korea’s independent anti-submarine drills in the West Sea held from July 29 to Aug. 2.
Last month, South Korean and U.S. troops conducted massive air and naval readiness exercises in the East Sea in which a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier participated.
“UFG ’10, like all other major CFC exercises, is designed to improve the alliance’s ability to deter aggression and if deterrence fails, fight tonight and prevail in the ROK,” the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC) said in a statement. “These exercises are designed to help teach, coach, and mentor service members on staff and leadership decision-making processes.”
This year’s UFG was supposed to be a South Korean-led exercise ahead of the previously planned transfer of wartime operational control from the United States to South Korea in 2012. With the postponement of the timeline to 2015 the exercise will be led by American commanders to ensure that the allied troops are prepared to respond to threats across the spectrum of conflict, including North Korean provocations.
“UFG ’10 is the first exercise since President Lee (Myung-bak) and President Obama announced the decision to delay the transition of wartime operational control until late 2015,” CFC Commander Gen. Walter Sharp said in the Aug. 2 “Sharp Point” posted on CFC’s official Website.
“UFG ’10 represents an excellent opportunity to develop the tenets of our Strategic Alliance 2015 Plans as we improve ROK/U.S. combat readiness and joint/combined interoperability,” said Sharp, who concurrently heads the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) and the United Nations Command (UNC).
He continued, “Like our combined exercises in the past, Ulchi Freedom Guardian affords the combined team an opportunity to continue to develop organizational structures and collaborate on command and control relationship between our militaries and our governments.”
The scope of the UFG exercise extends well beyond the peninsula and takes a whole-of-government approach.All of the alliance’s major commands participate, augmented by approximately 3,000 U.S. personnel from the U.S. mainland and U.S. bases in the Pacific region. They join over 500,000 South Korean military and government participants, 27,000 U.S. Joint Forces, and multinational representatives from the UNC.
The forces are connected by communications and computer simulation networks that span from locations in South Korea to Washington, D.C. and U.S. military headquarters around the world.
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