SOUTH KOREA - III Marine Expeditionary Force and its major subordinate commands participated in the exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2012 Aug. 20–31.
UFG is an annual computer-assisted, combined command and control exercise between the Republic of Korea and United States Combined Forces Command, executed to improve the two nations’ abilities to defend the ROK and is defensive in nature.
“Ulchi Freedom Guardian is a key exercise in strengthening the readiness of Republic of Korea and U.S. forces,” said U.S. Army Gen. James D. Thurman, the commander of Combined Forces Command, United Nations Command, and U.S. Forces Korea. “It is based on realistic scenarios and enables us to train on our essential tasks and work through crisis management with a ‘whole of government’ approach.”
UFG 12, like all CFC exercises, is a routine and defense-oriented exercise designed to enhance readiness, protect the region, and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula. Units representing each branch of the armed forces of both countries participated in UFG 12, exercising combined planning and operations.
III MEF stood up its command post at the combined arms staff training facility on Camp Hansen as part of UFG 12. 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, 3rd Marine Logistics Group and 3rd Marine Division stood up command posts across Okinawa to support III MEF’s role in the exercise. Both the U.S. and ROK Marine Corps provided liaison officers to augment each other’s staff and enable better communication and training.
UFG 12 contributes to the Republic of Korea taking the lead for the combined defense of the ROK in 2015 by providing realistic training focused on preparing, preventing and prevailing against the full range of current and future threats to the ROK and the region.
UFG 12 demonstrated the continued commitment to the ROK-U.S. alliance and allowed III MEF and its major subordinate commands to practice joint and combined operational planning and execution while improving ROK-U.S. readiness and joint and combined interoperability.
UFG, along with other training exercises between the U.S. and ROK, are carried out in the spirit of the Oct. 1, 1953, ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty and in accordance with the Armistice Agreement. The execution of UFG 12 highlighted the longstanding military partnership, commitment and enduring friendship between the two nations and helped to ensure peace and security on the Korean peninsula and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the Northeast Asia region.