By Maj. Christopher Mesnard.
Personnel assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command Korea and the Republic of Korea’s Special Warfare Command conducted a combined and multinational Airborne jump training event on Aug. 17, 2023, south of Camp Humphreys, ROK, with participants from the UN Command-Korea and senior special operations forces representatives from Thailand and the Philippines.
U.S. special operations personnel regularly conduct combined jump training with their ROK counterparts, ensuring proficiency in special operations forces-related skills and their ability to meet mutual defense priorities. What’s more, as a part of its role as the UN Special Operations Command, SOCKOR regularly conducts exchanges with other member states’ SOF personnel, like the Thai and Filipino participants in this training jump.
“With over 70-years in the making, our ROK-U.S. Alliance is one of the strongest in the world,” said Brig. Gen. Derek Lipson, SOCKOR commander. “We at SOCKOR advance that special relationship every day through training and engagements with unique special operations capabilities in mind.”
Photo: United Kingdom Lt. Gen. Andrew Harrison, United Nations Command Korea deputy commander, center, converses with Filipino Colonels Villaflor and Sevilla, left, Philippine Army special operations senior leadership, during a combined-jump, training event on Aug 17, 2023, south of Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea. (Republic of Korea Army photo by Private 1st Class Yeonung Kim)
In addition to strengthening the interoperability of multinational participants, the jump served as an opportunity to demonstrate the command’s commitment to U.S. Special Operations Command’s SOF Truth #1, “Humans are more important than hardware.”
“In today’s technologically robust world, it’s easy to forget the fundamental principle that people are our greatest asset,” said Lipson. “That’s not to say we don’t use advanced tools to our advantage. But at the end of the day, we need to know we have the relationships in place and an adaptive nature conditioned into our SOF warriors to meet both our nations’ defense priorities.”
Also on hand, the UNC Deputy Commander, United Kingdom Lt. Gen. Andrew Harrison participated in the jump, reinforcing the command’s emphasis on maintaining engagement with the UN member states.
Maps: Courtesy of Central Intelligence Agency.
“Partner building is foundational to the strength of our command’s decades-long mission,” said Harrison. “It was an absolute pleasure to not only talk with our friends from Thailand and the Philippines but to see their skill and proficiency during today’s Airborne training.”
Special Operations Command Korea maintains a constantly ready force that regularly trains and collaborates with ROK Allies, at all levels, in addition to UN member states in its role as a U.S. theater special operations command on the Korean Peninsula.
This story by Maj. Christopher Mesnard, Special Operations Command Korea, was first published on August 17, 2023 by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. DVIDS content is in the public domain.
Top photo: A U.S. special operations forces Soldier exits a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook in a combined static-line jump with counterparts from the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Philippines, and United Kingdom, Aug. 17, 2023, south of Camp Humphreys, ROK. (Republic of Korea Army photo by Private 1st Class Yeonung Kim)