(LEAD) USFK releases ‘Teak Knife’ surgical strike drills amid NK missile provocations

(ATTN: UPDATES with SOCKOR Spokesperson’s remarks at paragraphs 5-8)
By Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) — A US Forces Korea (USFK) unit conducted surgical strike drills involving its special commandos earlier this week at a US military base just south of Seoul, Seoul reported. its public affairs office on Friday, following the intervention of North Korea. missile provocations.

The USFK Special Operations Command Korea (SOCKOR) revealed on its Facebook account on Wednesday a series of photos showing the main activities of the Teak Knife exercise at an airfield at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul.

Designed to ensure “realistic, multi-domain” readiness, the exercise included exercises on airfield seizure, hostage rescue mission, night infiltrations, close air support, precision fire and a direct action raid, according to SOCKOR.

The revelations came as Pyongyang fired one short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) on Sunday, two SRBMs on Wednesday and two more on Thursday. The regime’s slashing coincided with a naval exercise between South Korea and the United States involving the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

Asked to comment on the exercise, SOCKOR spokeswoman Kimberly R. Chatto stressed the importance of “realistic combination training.”

“Consistent and challenging training provides our service members with the opportunity to practice their skills in close air support, air traffic control, humanitarian and crisis response, hostage rescue, and more.” Chatto said.

“South Korea has several diverse locations to help refine our combined forces with robust scenarios that exercise our combined tactics and procedures, build camaraderie, and continue our ROK-US alliance,” the official added, referring to the statement. South Korea by its official name, Republic. from Korea.

The spokesperson also stressed that the allies have “a vital interest in deterring and defending against provocations or the use of force”.

A year ago, the US military also went public with its Teak Knife exercise amid tensions over missile launches from the North.

The drill was seen by some observers as involving an operation to ‘decapitate’ North Korean leaders, but the US military dismissed that view, saying it was a training program designed to “maximize unit and individual readiness”.

In recent months, Seoul and Washington have increased the volume of public communications regarding their combined or stand-alone exercises as part of efforts to bolster deterrence against evolving North Korean nuclear and missile threats.

Christine E. Phillips