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U.S. and Republic of Korea Marines Strengthen Bonds During Annual Exercise Series
8 Apr 2024

CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa, Japan – Over 3,000 U.S Marines from across III Marine Expeditionary Force, and 1st Marine Division, I MEF, completed exercises Freedom Shield 24 and Warrior Shield 24 demonstrating the U.S and ROK Marine Corps’ ability to integrate and operate in support of the alliance.

“Operating alongside our ROK Marine Corps counterparts during this exercise series was an honor,” said Lt. Gen. Roger Turner, commanding general of III MEF. “As our combined training grows and evolves, so does the unrivaled bond between our two Marine Corps and countries. These exercises demonstrate the strength of our alliance and our commitment to regional stability.”

During Freedom Shield 24, the Combined Marine Component Command, comprised of the U.S and ROK Marines Corps, rehearsed their combined, force wide command-and-control capabilities in response to a simulated crisis. Concurrently, the U.S Marines integrated this year’s Korean Marine Exercise Program 24.1 events into the larger USFK-level Warrior Shield exercise to perfect their tactics as combined units. The simultaneous rehearsal of a combined response to crisis and intensive field training holistically strengthened the defensive capabilities of the ROK-U.S. Alliance.

“Our training this year provided us an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the strength of the ROK-U.S. Alliance,” said Lt. Gen. Kim Kye Hwan, commandant of the Republic of Korea Marine Corps. “Both Freedom Shield exercise and KMEP were a great way to showcase not only our combined and joint capabilities, but the unwavering spirit of the ROK-U.S. Marine Corps team.”

Across the Republic of Korea, training ranged from command and control and joint coordination, to live fire events, close air support training, and subject matter expert exchanges. The U.S and ROK Marine Corps also fully leveraged the opportunity to work alongside their respective army and Air Force counterparts. The joint training gave all participants a deeper understanding of each other’s capabilities which better enabled the ROK-U.S. Marine Corps team to conduct joint, combined, and multi-domain operations that were integral to this year’s training.

The successful completion of these robust, and concurrent exercises demonstrated the U.S and ROK Marine Corps’ combined ability to conduct joint and combined operations in every domain, further strengthening the readiness and capability of the alliance. The frequency and depth of combined training underscores a shared commitment to regional security and the defense of the Republic of Korea.

III Marine Expeditionary Force

III Marine Expeditionary Force

III Marine Expeditionary Force