USFK Chief Complains About Lack of Combined Training

  • By Yang Seung-sik

    October 06, 2020 12:37

    U.S. Forces Korea Commander Robert Abrams has complained to the Defense Ministry here that the two allies' armies and air forces have failed to conduct joint drills for more than three years.

    He said combined drills are an essential way of boosting warfare capabilities.

    According to a report the military submitted to People Power Party lawmaker Han Ki-ho recently, the Army has conducted no combined exercises with the USFK since the last joint live-fire drill in April 2017.

    And the Air Force has not resumed combined drills since August that year. Only the Navy and marines have conducted scaled-down exercises with the U.S.

    Korean and U.S. mariners conduct a firing drill in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, in this file photo from July 6, 2016.

    It was Abrams' own boss, U.S. President Donald Trump, who called off large-scale joint drills as an unexpected gift to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at their first summit in 2018.

    Abrams made the complaint in a letter this July.

    He noted that a major firing range has been closed under an inter-Korean de-escalation agreement and civilian demonstrations are blocking training grounds.

    "The lack of combined drills could weaken the bilateral military alliance at a time when massive joint exercises are put on hold," Han said.

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