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Key Resolve/Foal Eagle
RSOI/Foal Eagle

Key Resolve/Foal Eagle 2013

The 2013 iterations of Key Resolve and Foal Eagle were to be conducted between 1 March and 30 April 2013. Foal Eagle would run for the entire duration of the period, while Key Resolve would be conducted from 11 to 21 March 2013.

Foal Eagle 2013 would consist of a series of 20 separate but inter-related joint and combined field training exercises conducted by Combined Forces Command and US Forces Korea components spanning ground, air, naval, expeditionary, and special operations. The exercises included both US and Republic of Korea (ROK) forces. Approximately 10,000 US forces, along with ROK military personnel, would participate in Exercise Foal Eagle. The majority of the US participants came from outside of the ROK. The exercises were designed to enhance the security and readiness of the Republic of Korea and were deterrent in nature. The United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission informed the Korean People's Army through its Panmunjom Mission of the exercise dates and the non-provocative nature of the training exercise.

Exercise Key Resolve 2013 would execute various scenarios with the purpose of defending the Korean Peninsula through improving ROK-US combined forces operation capabilities, coordinating and executing the deployment of US reinforcement forces, and maintaining ROK military's combat capabilities. 2013 was the first year that the Key Resolve exercise was to be led by the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff and not the Combined Forces Command. This was to help improve the ROK military's operational command capabilities and establish a basis for the wartime operations control transition. About 10,000 ROK forces and 3,500 US forces would participate in Key Resolve 2013, and units above Corps level would participate from the ROK military. Moreover, forces from Denmark, the United Kingdom, Australia, Colombia, and Canada (members of the United Nations Command) and supervisors from the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission would also participate.

Having participated in 15 Key Resolve and RSO&I (the predecessor of Key Resolve) exercises, James “Jim” Staege, 599th plans chief, is a bona fide old hand. “The U.S. and ROK sides aren’t hand-in-hand right at the beginning of an exercise,” Staege said. “There comes a point about three days into the exercise where people cross the aisles, and there is more natural interaction between the U.S and ROK sides. “That is true not only for the different countries, but between services and different units, too. We have all different units working together in the CSCC, so it takes a while. As more people work together, things flow more naturally.”

The United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission notified the North Korean military on 21 February 2013 of the exercise dates and that this was an annual ROK-US combined exercise that was not related with the existing situation on the Korean Peninsula. However, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea responded angrily to the US decision to go through with the exercises, which it had previously stated would lead it to pull out of the 1953 Armistice Agreement. After the exercises began North Korea disconnected its Panmunjom hotline and stated that it had renounced the Armistice Agreement. In late March 2013, the North Koreans made a significant number of threats against South Korea and the United States and on 30 March 2013 announced that "North-South relations have been put at State of War." In the first week of April 2013, North Korea announced that it would restart its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon and closed off South Korean access to the jointly run Kaesong industrial park.

In light of these provocations, in March 2013 the United States deployed F-22 Raptor aircraft from Kadena Air Base, Japan to participate in the Foal Eagle Exercise and further demonstrated its strategic capability by also including a B-2 bomber training mission, which saw aircraft from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri in the United States fly and drop inert training bombs on the Jik Do Range in the ROK.

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Page last modified: 09-02-2017 19:37:11 ZULU