News: Champoux: Eighth Army trained, equipped, ready
Story by Walter Ham
NEW MEXICO RANGE, South Korea - Ulchi Freedom Guardian proved that Eighth Army is trained, equipped and ready, according to the U.S. Army's top operational commander in South Korea.
Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux said the combined and joint exercise increased Eighth Army's ability to deter aggression on the Korean Peninsula and maintain stability in the Asia Pacific region.
Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2013, which ran from Aug. 19 - 30, is a command post training exercise that is held in South Korea every summer. It is the second of two annual Korean Peninsula-wide exercises following Key Resolve in the spring.
The exercise ensures that U.S. and South Korean forces are ready for any crisis, contingency or conflict, said Champoux.
"Staying ready to deter or defeat aggression requires tough and realistic training and Ulchi Freedom Guardian demonstrated that Eighth Army is up to the task," said Champoux, who also serves as the chief of staff for United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea
During the exercise, Eighth Army trained for its primary mission as a combined and joint task force headquarters from its mobile command post here on New Mexico Range.
The Eighth Army operational command post is named after the Republic of Korea Army's first four-star general, retired Gen. Paik Sun-yup, who visited his namesake command post for the first time on Aug. 29.
Many U.S. Army formations joined the exercise from off the Korean Peninsula. Among them were the Fort Shafter, Hawaii-based U.S. Army Pacific and the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.-based 20th Support Command (CBRNE), as well as several U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard units.
Champoux said the Soldiers integrated seamlessly and served together well with troops from the ROK military and United Nations Sending States.
"Our combined combat team accomplished a multitude of complex tasks during Ulchi Freedom Guardian," said Champoux. "I couldn't be more proud of the men and women of this historical fighting force."