The annual exercise, Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS), is designed to strengthen the combined defense posture and Alliance response capabilities based on scenarios that reflect diverse threats within the security environment. The rigorous training will ensure the Alliance is ready to defend the Republic of Korea (ROK) and promote security and stability in Northeast Asia.
The live, virtual, and constructive exercise will include ROK government personnel, as well as U.S. and ROK military forces from all services.
All United Nations Command Member States are scheduled to participate in different capacities, with 10 members providing additional exercise augmentees: Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, and the U.S. Additionally, the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (Sweden and Switzerland) will observe and monitor the exercise, fulfilling duties prescribed by the Armistice Agreement.
In addition to UFS 23 training, ROK and U.S. units will conduct a number of complementary large-scale, combined training events to strengthen interoperability. The training will increase combat readiness, as well as strengthen the security and stability on the Korean peninsula and across Northeast Asia.
Training exercises like UFS 23 are carried out in the spirit of the 1 October 1953 ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty and in support of the Armistice. These exercises also highlight the longstanding military partnership, commitment and enduring friendship between ROK and U.S.; help to solidify the role of the Alliance as the linchpin of peace and security in the region; and reaffirm the U.S. ironclad commitment to the defense of the ROK.
Prior to UFS 23, a Crisis Management Exercise (CMX) will take place from 15-18 August to train the respective headquarters elements of ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff, Combined Forces Command, U.S. Forces Korea, and United Nations Command.