OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea -- Airmen, along with 30,000 participants from South Korea and other nations, took part in one of the largest Joint Staff exercises in the world to date Aug. 30.
Exercise Ulchi Freedom-Guardian is an annual computer-simulated, U.S. Combined Forces Command defense-oriented exercise, designed to evaluate and improve combined and joint coordination, procedures, plans and systems necessary for the conduct of contingency operations in defense of South Korea.
"We've wrapped up another year of successful training and planning. I am proud of the hard work and effort our servicemembers and Korean allies have put forth," said Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, Combined Air Component commander and 7th Air Force commander. "The (South Korea-U.S.) alliance is the strongest military alliance in the world, built on a foundation of more than 60 years of service and sacrifice, and exercises like Ulchi Freedom Guardian only make this alliance stronger."
Throughout UFG, participants engaged in a simulated conflict that exercised the alliance's abilities to handle a variety of events and actions regarding current and future threats to the region. A number of realistic scenarios extending beyond defeating a conventional military attack were implemented during the 10-day exercise.
UFG is named after Ulchi Mindeok, a Korean military leader who repelled an invasion by China's Sui dynasty in the 7th century. This exercise highlights the longstanding and enduring partnership and friendship between both nations, and their combined commitment to the defense of South Korea while ensuring peace and security in the region. The exercise is conducted at U.S. Combined Forces Command and South Korean military installations, and is connected by communications networks, extending to U.S. military headquarters around the world.