A Korean four-star general is commanding joint Korea-U.S. military exercises that kicked off on Monday.
It is the first time that a Korean general has led the whole process of combined drills and comes in preparation for the eventual handover of full wartime control of Korean troops to Seoul.
In 2019, a Korean four-star general commanded only part of the combined Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills.
But now Gen. Paul LaCamera, the commander of the Combined Forces Command, and deputy chief Gen. Ahn Byung-seok have switched duties to conduct a "full operational capability" assessment of the future arrangement, according to the U.S. Forces Korea on Wednesday.
La Camera said the current drills, dubbed Ulchi Freedom Shield, are "an opportunity for Gen. Ahn Byung-Seok and me to trade leadership duties based on the future Combined Forces Command construct as outlined by both of our defense secretaries late last year. This is significant because for the first time ever, the CFC deputy commander will take the lead as the future CFC commander."