UFG 13 improves stability, overall mission readiness
CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan -- Service members from the United States and the United Nations Command sending states are participating in Exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2013 Aug. 19-30
UFG 13 is an annual, combined command and control exercise designed to improve the United States’ and its allies’ ability to defend the Republic of Korea and takes place throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
“The exercise will also improve participating units’ readiness in order to maintain the stability of the Korean Peninsula,” said Maj. David M. Grosso, the force synchronization officer with III Marine Expeditionary Force and senior watch officer for the exercise’s Combined Marine Component Command. “The focus of the exercise is on the strategic, operational and tactical aspects of general military operations in the Korean theater.”
UFG 13 also enhances the supporting forces through combined and joint training while improving ROK-U.S. combat readiness and interoperability among United Nations Command sending states, according to Grosso.
“This exercise brings augments from several different nations together and is designed to train and integrate the Combat Operations Center staff,” said Grosso. “This ensures, in any operation, whether it is a combat zone or not, we are trained and qualified to execute the mission with our Pacific allies.”
The augmentation forces will join more than 28,500 U.S. forces stationed in the ROK, as well as multinational representatives from multiple United Nations Command sending states.
“The service members from other nations are very good to work with,” said Lt. Col. Thierry Werra, a French Marine liaison officer with the Joint Headquarters of French Armed Forces in Papeete, Tahiti. “Everybody is doing what they are supposed to do in a very professional manner.”
UFG 13 is based on realistic scenarios and enables the nations’ forces to accomplish essential tasks and respond to any crisis which may arise, according to Werra.
Approximately 30,000 U.S. service members and 470,000 personnel from the ROK are participating in the exercise.
“It is good training and good for unit cohesion,” said Pfc. Kevin G. Gorski, a data networking specialist with 7th Communication Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF. “Knowing how to respond to certain situations is very important.”
Taking part in this exercise has given some of the service members a different perspective as to how many nations are willing to work together with the same goal in mind, according to Gorski.
“I would love to take part in this exercise in the future,” said Gorski. “Working with military personnel from other countries is very fun and interesting.”
The exercise also highlights the long-standing military partnership, commitment and enduring friendship between the nations, helping to ensure peace and security on the peninsula and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the alliance.
“This is a very interesting exercise to be a part of,” said Werra. “I really like the professionalism between the different nations, and I hope to see it again in the future.”