United Nations Command Security Battalion
The United Nations Command Security Battalion - Joint Security Area secures the Joint Security Area in order to provide the Commander in Chief, United Nations Command, a secure environment in which to conduct negotiations with north Korean representatives. The UNCSB-JSA conducts security and reconnaissance patrols within the Demilitarized Zone and monitors the status of the Military Armistice Agreement. The battalion also provides for the security of all personnel within the Joint Security Area and its area of responsibility, to include the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission, residents of Tae Song Dong, and the tourists and dignitaries who visit Panmunjom.
The United Nations Command Security Battalion - Joint Security Area is the Eighth Army's premier war fighting battalion. It is unique in every sense of the word. Not only does it have a mission like none other - security for and patrol of a portion of the demilitarized zone between the Republic of Korea and North Korea, and conducting the CINC's DMZ Orientation Program - but its composition is unlike any other unit on the Korean Peninsula.
The UNCSB-JSA is modified Light Infantry Battalion. It is comprised of both Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) and US Army soldiers. The ROKA element makes up roughly 60 percent of the unit while the US Army makes up the remaining 40 percent of the 550 person unit. Each soldier and officer assigned to the battalion is hand-picked and undergoes a rigorous testing program upon arrival to the JSA. Only after passing this, is he a full member of the battalion and can claim that he is"In Front of Them All!"
The soldiers who serve in the UNCSB-JSA are truly stationed on Freedom's Frontier and stand face-to-face with Communism on a daily basis. It is because of this, that only the highest trained and disciplined soldiers from both armies are assigned to the battalion and proudly wear the blue and white scroll of the battalion.
Early in 1952, in anticipation of the end of the Korean Conflict, the United Nations Command outlined to the Eighth United States Army, Korea, responsibilities in connection with the establishment of the Military Armistice Commission. To comply with this directive, it was necessary to establish a unit which was to provide the necessary facilities and logistical support to the Military Armistice Commission and others engaged in the execution of the Armistice Agreement.
On 5 May, 1952, the United Nations Command, Military Armistice Commission Support Group (Provisional) was organized with an authorized strength of five officers and ten enlisted men. The United Nations Command Advance Camp was established in the vicinity of Munsan ne. The Support Group provided all necessary logistical support for the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC), the United Nations sponsored delegations to the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) - Switzerland and Sweden, the Custodial Forces, India (CFI), the Non-repatriated Prisoners of War of the Chinese People's Volunteer and the North Korean's People's Army (CPV/KPA), the Delegates of the Preliminary Conferences for Political Conferences (US Department Officials), and the CPV/KPA sponsored delegates of the NNSC (Czechoslovakia and Poland) for transportation and security when traveling south of the Military Demarcation Line. During peak operations from November 1953 to January 1954, the Group required a gross strength of 1,900 personnel for the support of approximately 32,000 people.
By February of 1954, the only remaining elements of the original Group were the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission and the NNSC. The unit was known at the United Nations Command Security Group. Their missions were: To provide for the security of Panmunjom. The command provided 24 hour security for all meetings as well as United Nations Command personnel and their guests within the Joint Security Area. They also controlled the entry into and exit from the Joint Security Area and Military Armistice Commission Headquarters Area. To provide for the Civil Affairs and Security of Tae Song Dong. To operate and maintain the Panmunjom tour program. This included up to 18 tours a day, 6 days a week. To provide logistical support for the NNSC and UNCMAC-related activities. To provide for the security and day-to-day operations of the United Nations Command Advance Camp (Camp Kitty Hawk).
In 1991, major changes took place with the removal of the 2d Infantry Division from the DMZ patrol mission. An additional mission was added: To provide for security patrols within its area of responsibility in the DMZ. The name of Camp Kitty Hawk was changed to Camp Bonifas and Camp Liberty Bell (formerly the 2d ID camp) was annexed and named East Bonifas. The United Nations Command Security Battalion now conducts up to 12 tours per day, 6 days a week. There are an average of 150,000 visitors to the JSA and Panmunjom per year.
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