The US and South Korea are set to begin major combined military drills on Monday, with the two longtime allies seeking to bolster “joint readiness against evolving military threats from North Korea.”
The yearly Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) exercise will be held from Monday to Aug. 31, featuring various contingency drills such as computer simulation-based command post exercise, concurrent field training, and Ulchi civil defense drills, Seoul-based Yonhap News reported on Sunday.
Some 30 allied field training events are scheduled to take place during the exercise period, compared to 25 during this year’s springtime Freedom Shield drills and 13 in last year’s UFS, according to a statement issued by South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
Apart from the two countries armies, navies, air forces, and marine personnel, the US space forces will also take part in the drills.
In December last year, the US military launched the US Space Forces Korea, a component of the USFK.
In addition to US and South Korean forces, personnel from nine member countries of the UN Command (UNC), including Australia, Canada, France, UK, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Thailand, will also join the exercise.
The UNC is a key enforcer of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.
The Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission, an observer of the armistice, will also attend the drills. The commission has representatives from Sweden and Switzerland.