An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | March 28, 2023

1st MAW and ROK MAG Execute Freedom Shield 2023 at ROK Marine Corps Base Pohang

By Lt. Daniel Kim 1st Marine Aircraft Wing

POHANG, South Korea -- The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) concluded its participation in Freedom Shield 23 (FS23) on March 23, 2023. Freedom Shield is a defensive exercise which focuses on building the combined capabilities and readiness between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and U.S. military forces. This year’s exercise integrated live and constructive elements and was the first time that 1st Marine Division, based in Camp Pendleton, CA, participated in the exercise in more than 60 years, marking their return to the Korean peninsula.1st Marine Division, ROK 1st Marine Division, ROK Marine Aircraft Group, and over 250 1st MAW Marines conducted the 11-day exercise from ROK Marine Corps Base Pohang, South Korea.

1st MAW participated in FS23 through distributed operations. “Distributed operations enable our resiliency and ability to utilize reach-back capabilities. It makes us a more resilient force by reducing our signature and vulnerability to attacks. Additionally, the whole combined and joint force operates in a distributed manner. Becoming more proficient at operating as a unit distributed makes us better at operating as a distributed combined and joint force,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Luke Rodina, a planner with 1st MAW.

This year’s iteration was also the first time the ROK MAG, the ROK Marine Corps’ first and only aircraft group, fully integrated with 1st MAW operational planning and execution. “We worked hand in hand with the ROK MAG team at every level of aviation tasking. Every problem was resolved with our counterparts through direct communication,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Je Her, air support control officer. “This level of interaction allowed for us to come up with mutually beneficial solutions that accomplish our missions,” Her added.

“We were able to overcome cultural, process, and command and control challenges by integrating the ROK MAG directly into the tactical air command center as well as establishing consistent and frequent touch points with key leadership on both sides. The ROK MAG brings a fleet of versatile aircraft with well-trained aircrew that can perform every function of assault support in conjunction with U.S. Forces. Their impact was significant throughout the exercise. Most importantly, the ROK MAG brings a professional and finely tuned warfighting spirit that only Marines can understand,” said Col. William Pacatte, the lead 1st MAW operations officer.

Freedom Shield 23 revolved around a single, continuous phase operation. This increased realism and allowed combined forces opportunities to overcome numerous simulated challenges. Because of how dynamic the exercise scenario was, success required near constant coordination across all levels of the staffs to execute as a combined force. “FS23 was beneficial as it was the first time the ROK MAG and 1st MAW conducted this type of training,” said Col. Soo Yong Kim, ROK MAG commander. “It was an opportunity to develop aviation command and control capabilities through a combined TACC. FS23 served as a steppingstone for establishing realistic, combined air control procedures and is an important first step for U.S. and ROK Marine Corps aviation forces to integrate and carry out missions in the near future,” added Kim.

Freedom Shield is a defense-oriented exercise designed to strengthen the ROK-U.S. Alliance, enhance our combined defense posture, and strengthen security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.


Like Us
Follow Us



Commander, Task Force 74 Visits Republic of Korea for 56th Submarine Warfare Committee Meeting
Rear Adm. Rick Seif, commander, Submarine Group 7/Task Force 74, speaks to members of the Republic of Korea Navy submarine force during the 56th Submarine Warfare Committee Meeting (SWCM) roundtable discussion, May 23. CSG 7 directs forward-deployed combat-capable forces across the full spectrum of undersea warfare throughout the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. (Photo courtesy of ROK Navy Public Affairs)
May 30, 2023 - JEJU, Republic of Korea – Rear Adm. Rick Seif, commander, Submarine Group 7/Task Force (CTF) 74, visited Jeju, Republic of Korea for the 56th iteration of the biannual Submarine Warfare Committee Meeting (SWCM) with the...

READOUT: Pacific Fleet Commander’s Travel to Malaysia, 20-24 May 2023
Adm. Samual Paparo, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, shakes hands with Rear Adm. Aminuddin Haji Abdul Rashid, director of maritime enforcement and coordination divison, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, while Vice Adm. Datuk Saiful Lizan Bin Inrahim, deputy director general for logistics, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, observes prior to a bilateral meeting at Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2023 in Langkawi, Malaysia, May 24, 2023. The visit to Malaysia underscored the United States’ commitment to strengthening alliances and partnerships for an enduring resilient, free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy courtesy photo)
May 30, 2023 - LANGKAWI, Malaysia -- Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander U.S. Pacific Fleet, traveled to Malaysia, May 20-24, 2023 to affirm the comprehensive partnership between Malaysia and the United States.Paparo met with senior Malaysia...

AUKUS Partners Demonstrate Advanced Capabilities Trial
May 30, 2023 - WASHINGTON -- Trilateral AUKUS partners successfully demonstrated a trial of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Autonomy under the Advanced Capabilities pillar (Pillar II), April 28 in the UK.U.S. delegates joined their...

AATC Tests Enhanced Intelligence Gathering Capabilities with MQ-9 Reaper Upgrade
An MQ-9 Reaper flies a training mission over the Nevada Testing and Training Range, July 15, 2019. MQ-9 aircrew ]provide dominant, persistent attack and reconnaissance for comabtant commanders and coalition partners across the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Rio Rosado)
May 30, 2023 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- The Air National Guard-Air Force Reserve Command Test Center partnered with the 174th Attack Wing and 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron to test an upgraded satellite communications...

Yokota, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Leaders Exchange Co-Op Awards
Leaders from the 374th Airlift Wing and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force 1st Airborne Brigade pose for a photo following a Defense Cooperation Award ceremony at Camp Narashino, Funabashi, Japan, May 25, 2023. The ceremony honored the bilateral efforts by both organizations and celebrated the contributions during the many joint exercises. This year, the two parties aim to improve operational capabilities and bilateral relations in future joint training and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Natalie Doan)
May 30, 2023 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) leaders invited U.S. Air Force (USAF) counterparts from the 374th Airlift Wing to a Defense Cooperation Award ceremony in honor of the collaborative efforts...