NEWS | Oct. 9, 2019

Korean and American SOF Service Members Demonstrate Unity Through Combined Freefall Jump

By Capt. David Murphy Special Operations Command Korea

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- Special Operations Command Korea and Republic of Korea (SOCKOR) Special Warfare Command (SWC) service members participated in combined military freefall demonstrations during the 17th Ground Forces Festival in Gyeryong, South Korea, Oct. 4 through 6, 2019.

The jumps were part of a four-day event designed to showcase both Korean and U.S. service members’ equipment and capabilities. The event is one of the largest military festivals in the world and attracts up to a million people each year.

With the exception of 2018, SOCKOR has participated in the event every year since its inception in 2002.

“This is a great opportunity for jumps with our Korean counterparts,” said Sgt. First Class Michael Lyons, SOCKOR special operations forces liaison element member. “The ROKSWC demo team is really proficient and we’ve jumped with them many times in the past.”

This year three members of SOCKOR joined the ROKSWC freefall team.

“It’s a good thing that they invite us to participate,” said Sgt. First Class Jimmy Kim, SOCKOR SOFLE member. “The event allows us to showcase our interoperability and to reinforce the strength of the alliance.“

The three SOCKOR members joined 17 ROKSWC members who all jumped from a height of 6,000 feet to the festival area below.

“It feels awesome and meaningful to jump with our SOCKOR counterparts,” said a ROKSWC member. “It helps us work through our combined jump processes in a fun event that helps build our friendship.”

Both Korean and American special operations forces members stated that the event in general, and the combined jump specifically, was the true embodiment of the statement “Katchi Kapshida” or “We Go Together.”