CAMP WALKER, Republic of Korea –
The annual combined-joint command post exercise, Ulchi Freedom Guardian, allows Republic of Korea and U.S. service members and civilians to train together in a partnership aimed to sharpen their response to potential threats in the region.
As part of the training, multi-national forces from other U.N. nations contribute to the overall readiness, providing support as “Sending States” and have continually supported the United Nations Command mission here since 1953. The Sending States’ contributions to the ROK-U.S. Alliance are coordinated through the Multi-National Coordination Center.
The MNCC is comprised of military members and civilians from across the globe. The mission of the MNCC is to coordinate force reception, staging and onwards movement of UNC Sending State contributions to support the UNC mission and ROK – led defense on the Korean Peninsula.
The MNCC Deputy Director, Col. Chris Austin, Australian Defense Force said, “The MNCC has an important role in coordinating the UNC Sending State Force RSO prior to integration with component forces and provides support, liaison and coordination.”
In addition to ROK and U.S. participants, ten Sending States participated in this year’s exercise, UFG 14, including: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
“Sending States participation has grown significantly in recent years and our role in EX UFG is becoming more significant,” Austin said.
Between 1950 and 1953, 16 nations provided combat, combat support, or combat service support forces to the United Nations Command in response to the North Korean aggression against the Republic of Korea.
With the signing of the Korean War Armistice Agreement on July 23, 1953, military representatives of 16 nations reaffirmed their national commitment to the UNC in the defense of the ROK, should the armistice agreement fail.
“The Sending States were here in the 1950’s standing with South Korea, and the Sending States are attending this exercise 60 years later,” said Austin.
The ROK-U.S. Alliance conducts readiness exercises like UFG 14 regularly, allowing them to perfect their training and apply lessons learned to future exercises. Included in the training are realistic scenarios that challenge participants and keep the ROK prepared.
“The United Nations Sending States are here at UFG 14 supporting the ROK-U.S. Alliance. This is one of the largest conventional military exercises in the world,” Austin said. “In recent years the Sending States have moved from observers and small contributions to a larger role. As an Australian, I’m very aware of our history in South Korea and I am pleased we are training in support of the Republic of Korea and the United States.”