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NEWS | March 4, 2024

U.S., ROK Marines Conduct Exercise Freedom Shield 24

By 1st Lt. Keyon Whyte, III Marine Expeditionary Force

U.S. Marines from across III Marine Expeditionary Force, and Marines from 1st Marine Division, I MEF, deployed from Japan and the United States to join their ROK counterparts to exercise as the Combined Marine Component Command during Freedom Shield 24.

Freedom Shield is an annual United States Forces Korea training exercise designed to enhance the combined defensive capabilities of the CMCC in support of USFK, the Combined Forces Command, the United Nations Command, and the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff. The exercise provides both forces the opportunity to continue to strengthen the ROK-U.S. Alliance.

“We look forward each year to the opportunities to work alongside our Republic of Korea Marine Corps counterparts,” said Lt. Gen. Roger Turner, commanding general of III MEF and commander of the CMCC. “The partnership between our two Marine Corps is unrivaled, and our bonds of friendship and comradery run deep in support of the ROK-U.S. Alliance.”

During the exercise, the CMCC will rehearse force-wide command and control of combined ROK-U.S. forces to improve their collective defensive posture.

"FS24 is an excellent opportunity to strengthen the ROK-U.S. alliance," said Lt. Gen. Kim Kye Hwan, commandant of the Republic of Korea Marine Corps. "This exercise is a great opportunity to showcase clearly that the ROK-U.S. Marine Corps team is at the center of the ROK-U.S. Alliance."

A key aspect of this year’s training is rehearsing combined, multi-domain operations by leveraging land, air, sea, and non-kinetic assets to protect the combined security interests of both nations. This year’s emphasis on multi-domain operations enables the CMCC to rehearse the command and control of a wide range of military capabilities, resulting in a combined ability to respond to new and dynamic security challenges.

In conjunction with Freedom Shield 24, III MEF will also have units conducting field training exercises with their ROK Marine Corps counterparts consisting of close air support training, live fire training events, logistics training, and subject matter expert exchanges. The frequency and depth of combined training underscores a shared commitment to regional security and defense of South Korea.

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