United States Forces Korea
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|United States Forces Korea|
|Active||July 1, 1957 - Present|
|Country||United States of America|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Type||Subordinate Unified Command|
|General James D. Thurman|
|Distinctive Unit Insignia|
|United States Forces Korea|
United States Forces Korea Headquarters, US Forces Korea (USFK) was established on July 1, 1957 as a subordinate-unified command of US Pacific Command (USPACOM). USFK is the joint headquarters through which US combat forces would be sent to the Republic of Korea/US (ROK/US) Combined Forces Command’s (CFC) fighting components – the combined ground, air, naval, marine and special operations forces component commands. Major USFK elements include Eighth US Army (EUSA), US Air Forces Korea (Seventh Air Force) US Naval Forces Korea (CNFK), Marine Forces Korea (MARFORK), and Special Operations Command Korea (SOCKOR).
USFK has Title 10 authority, which means that USFK is responsible for organizing, training and equipping US forces on the Korean peninsula so that forces are agile, adaptable and ready.
With 28,500 US Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines in Korea, US forces in Korea are a forward presence in the region and a key manifestation of the US government’s rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific. Given the threat that North Korea poses to the Republic of Korea and the region, the USFK mission also includes planning noncombatant evacuation operations to ensure that if the need arises, US and other previously agreed upon countries citizens are removed from harm’s way. To this end, USFK conducts routine exercises to ensure that this process is effective, efficient, and orderly.
USFK will continue to play a critical role in Korea as US forces maintain readiness and operational focus to deter aggression and if necessary defeat the threat, which contributes to regional security, stability, and prosperity.
The USFK command has five components located in the ROK:
- US Army: 8th US Army; Headquarters: Yongsan, Korea; authorized about 20,000 Soldiers
- US Air Force: 7th US Air Force; Headquarters: Osan, Korea; authorized about 8,000 Airmen
- US Navy: Commander, Naval Forces Korea (CNFK); Headquarters: Yongsan, Korea; authorized about 300 Sailors
- US Marine Corps: Marine Forces Korea (MARFORK); Headquarters: Yongsan, Korea; authorized about 100 Marines
- Special Operations Command Korea (SOCKOR): Headquarters: Camp Kim, Yongsan, Korea; authorized about 100 members
Support the United Nations Command and Combined Forces Command by coordinating and planning among US component commands; and exercise operational control of US forces as directed by US Pacific Command.
Commanders, U.S. Forces Korea 
|General George Decker||July 1, 1957||June 30, 1959|
|General Carter B. Magruder||July 1, 1959||June 30, 1961|
|General Guy S. Meloy||July 1, 1961||July 31, 1963|
|General Hamilton H. Howze||August 1, 1963||June 15, 1965|
|General Dwight E. Beach||June 16, 1965||August 31, 1966|
|General Charles H. Bonesteel, III||September 1, 1966||September 30, 1969|
|General John H. Michaelis||October 1, 1969||August 31, 1972|
|General Donald V. Bennett||September 1, 1972||July 31, 1973|
|General Richard G. Stilwell||August 1, 1973||October 8, 1976|
|General John W. Vessey, Jr.||October 8, 1976||July 10 1979|
|General John A. Wickham, Jr.||July 10, 1979||June 4, 1982|
|General Robert W. Sennewald||June 4, 1982||June 1, 1984|
|General William J. Livsey||June 1, 1984||June 25, 1987|
|General Louis C. Menetrey, Jr.||June 25, 1987||June 26, 1990|
|General Robert W. RisCassi||June 26, 1990||June 15, 1993|
|General Gary E. Luck||June 15, 1993||July 9, 1996|
|General John H. Tilelli, Jr.||July 9, 1996||December 9, 1999|
|General Thomas A. Schwartz||July 9, 1996||May 1, 2002|
|General Leon J. Laporte||May 1, 2002||February 3, 2006|
|General B. B. Bell||February 3, 2006||June 3, 2008|
|General Walter "Skip" Sharp||June 3, 2008||July 14, 2011|
|General James D. Thurman||July 14, 2011||PRESENT|
United Nations Command and Combined Forces Command 
While USFK is a separate organization from United Nations Command (UNC) and CFC, its mission is to support both UNC and CFC by coordinating and planning among US component commands and providing US supporting forces to the CFC. As such, USFK continues to support the ROK-US Mutual Defense Treaty.
In response to the North Korean attack against the Republic of Korea on June 25, 1950, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) established the UNC as a unified command under the US in UNSC Resolution 84 on July 7, 1950. The UNC mission was to assist the Republic of Korea to repel the attack and restore international peace and security in Korea. Throughout the war, 53 nations provided support to the UNC; 16 nations provided combat forces and five sent medical and hospital units. After three years of hostilities, the commanders of both sides signed the Armistice Agreement on July 27, 1953.
Hostilities today are also deterred by this bi-national defense team that evolved from the multi-national UNC. Established on November 7, 1978, CFC is the warfighting headquarters. Its role is to deter, or defeat if necessary, outside aggression against the ROK.
To accomplish that mission, the CFC has operational control over more than 600,000 active-duty military personnel of all services, of both countries. In wartime, augmentation could include some 3.5 million ROK reservists as well as additional US forces deployed from outside the ROK. If North Korea attacked, the CFC would provide a coordinated defense through its Air, Ground, Naval and Combined Marine Forces Component Commands and the Combined Unconventional Warfare Task Force. In-country and augmentation US forces would be provided to the CFC for employment by the respective combat component.
Border Incidents 
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The following is a partial list of border incidents involving North Korea since the Armistice Agreement of July 27, 1953, ended large scale military action of the Korean War. Most of these incidents took place near either the Korean Demilitarized Zone or the Northern Limit Line. This list includes engagements on land, air, and sea, but does not include alleged incursions and terrorist incidents that occurred away from the border.
Many of the incidents occurring at sea are due to border disputes. The North claims jurisdiction over a large area south of the disputed western maritime border, the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea. This is a prime fishing area, particularly for crabs, and clashes commonly occur. In addition, the North claims its territorial waters extend for 50 nautical miles (90 km) from the coast, rather than the 12 nautical miles (22 km) recognized by other countries. According to the 5 January 2011 Korea Herald, since July 1953 North Korea has violated the armistice 221 times, including 26 military attacks.
- 16 February 1958: North Korean agents hijack a South Korean airliner to Pyongyang en route from Pusan to Seoul; 1 American pilot, 1 American passenger, 2 West German passengers, and 24 other passengers were released in early March, but 8 other passengers remained in the North.
- 1964: North Korea creates an underground group: Revolution Party for Reunification, this group is ground down and eliminated by South Korean authorities by 1969 
- April 27, 1965: Two North Korean MiG-17s attack a United States EC-121 Warning Star reconnaissance plane in the waters east of the Korean Peninsula, 80 km (50 mi) from the North Korean shore. The aircraft was damaged, but managed to land at Yokota Air Base, Japan.
- January 17, 1968: In an incident known as the Blue House Raid, a 31-man detachment from the Korean People's Army secretly crosses the DMZ on a mission to kill South Korean President Park Chung-hee on January 21, nearly succeeding. The incursion was discovered after South Korean civilians confronted the North Koreans and informed the authorities. After entering Seoul disguised as South Korean soldiers, the North Koreans attempt to enter the Blue House (the official residence of the President of South Korea). The North Koreans are confronted by South Korean police and a firefight ensued. The North Koreans fled Seoul and individually attempted to cross the DMZ back to North Korea. Of the original group of 31 North Koreans, 28 were killed, one was captured, and two are unaccounted for. Additionally, 68 South Koreans were killed and 66 were wounded, the majority of whom were soldiers and police officers. Three American soldiers were also killed and three were wounded.
- January 23, 1968: The United States Naval ship the USS Pueblo is boarded and captured, along with its crew, by North Korean forces in the waters east of the Korean Peninsula. The entire crew of 83 is captured, with the exception of one sailor killed in the initial attack on the vessel, and the vessel was taken to a North Korean port. All the captives were released on December 23 of the same year via the Bridge of No Return at the DMZ. The USS Pueblo is still in North Korean possession and is docked in Pyongyang and is on display as a museum ship.
- October 30, 1968: From October 30 to November 2, 120 to 130 North Korean commandos land on the northeast shore of South Korea, allegedly to establish a base in order to wage a guerrilla war against the South Korean government. A total of 110 to 113 were killed, seven were captured, and 13 escaped. Around 20 South Korean civilians, law enforcement officers, and soldiers were killed.
- March 1969: Six North Korean commandos kill a South Korean police officer near Jumunjin, Gangwon-do. Seven American soldiers are killed in a North Korean attack along the DMZ.
- April 1969: An EC-121, US reconnaissance plane is shot down 90 miles (140 km) east of the North Korean coast, leaving 31 dead.
- November 1969: Four US soldiers are killed by North Koreans in the Demilitarized Zone.
- April 1970: In Geumchon, a region of Paju south of the DMZ, a clash leaves three North Korean soldiers dead and five South Korean soldiers wounded.
- June 1970: The North Korean navy seizes a broadcast vessel from the South near the Northern Limit Line. 20 crew are captured.
- February 1974: Two South Korean fishing vessels are sunk and 30 crew detained by the North.
- 1974: The first tunnel into ROK is discovered (the three following tunnels were found in 1975, 1978, 1990)
- June 1976: An incursion south of the DMZ in Gangwon-do leaves three dead from the North and six from the South.
- August 18, 1976: The Axe murder incident -- an attempt to clear brush in the Demilitarized Zone near Panmunjom ends with two US soldiers dead.
- October 1979: Three North Koreans enter the eastern DMZ. One is killed.
- December 1979: One US Army Soldier killed, 3 US Soldiers wounded after stumbling into a North Korean minefield in a heavy fog while patrolling DMZ. One body is recovered from the North Koreans 5 days later.
- March 1980: Three North Koreans are killed while trying to cross the Han River estuary.
- May 1980: North Koreans engage OP Ouillette on DMZ in firefight. One North Korean WIA.
- March 1981: Three North Koreans try to enter the South in Geumhwa-eup, Cheorwon, Gangwon-do; one is killed.
- July 1981: Three North Koreans are killed trying to cross the Imjin River to the South.
- November 1984: Nine North Korean soldiers and one South Korean soldier die, and one American soldier is wounded during the firefight that erupted when a North Korean security detail chased a defecting Soviet citizen (Vasily Matusak) across the MDL into the southern-controlled sector of the Joint Security Area.
- November 1987: One South Korean killed on DMZ central sector by North Korean sniper fire.
- May 1992: Three Northern soldiers in South Korean uniforms are killed in Cheolwon, Gangwon-do; three South Korean soldiers are wounded.
- December 1994: North Koreans shoot down US Army helicopter. One US KIA and one US POW for 13 days.
- May 1995: North Korean forces fire on a South Korean fishing boat, killing three.
- October 1995: Two armed North Koreans are discovered at the Imjin River; one is killed.
- April 1996: Several hundred armed North Korean troops cross repeatedly into the Demilitarized Zone.
- May 1996: Seven Northern soldiers cross south of the Demilitarized Zone, but withdraw after warning shots are fired.
- May & June 1996: North Korean vessels twice cross the Northern Limit Line and have a several-hour standoff with the South Korean navy.
- April 1997: Five North Korean soldiers cross the Demilitarized Zone in Cheolwon, Gangwon-do, and fire on South Korean positions.
- June 1997: Three North Korean vessels cross the Northern Limit Line and attack South Korean vessels two miles (3 km) south of the line. On land, fourteen North Korean soldiers cross 70 m south of the center of the DMZ, leading to a 23-minute exchange of fire.
- June 1999: A series of clashes between North and South Korean vessels take place in the Yellow Sea near the Northern Limit Line.
- 2001: On twelve separate occasions, North Korean vessels cross the Northern Limit Line and then withdraw.
- November 27, 2001: North and South Korean forces exchange fire without injuries.
- June 29, 2002: Renewed naval clashes near the Northern Limit Line lead to the deaths of four South Korean sailors and the sinking of a South Korean vessel. The number of North Koreans killed is unknown.
- November 16, 2002: South Korean forces fire warning shots on a Northern boat crossing the Northern Limit Line. The boat withdraws. The similar incident is repeated on November 20.
- February 19, 2003: A North Korean fighter plane crosses seven miles (11 km) south of the Northern Limit Line, and returns north after being intercepted by six South Korean planes.
- March 2, 2003: Four North Korean fighter jets intercept a US reconnaissance plane over the waters east of the Korean Peninsula.
- July 17, 2003: North and South Korean forces exchange fire at the DMZ around 6 AM. The South Korean army reports four rounds fired from the North and seventeen from the South. No injuries are reported.
- November 1, 2004: North Korean vessels, claiming to be in pursuit of illegal fishing craft, cross the Northern Limit Line and are fired upon by the South. The vessels withdraw 3 hours later.
- July 30, 2006: Several rounds are exchanged near a South Korean post in Yanggu, Gangwon.
|Wikinews has related news: Korean navies exchange fire|
- November 10, 2009: Naval vessels from the two Koreas exchanged fire in the area of the NLL, reportedly causing serious damage to a North Korean patrol ship. For more details of this incident, see Battle of Daecheong.
- March 26, 2010: A South Korean naval vessel, the ROKS Cheonan, was allegedly sunk by a North Korean torpedo near Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea. A rescue operation recovered 58 survivors but 46 sailors were killed. On May 20, 2010, a South Korean led international investigation group concluded that the sinking of the warship was in fact the result of a North Korean torpedo attack. North Korea denied involvement. The United Nations Security Council made a Presidential Statement condemning the attack but without identifying the attacker.
- November 23, 2010: North Korea fired artillery at South Korea's Greater Yeonpyeong island in the Yellow Sea and South Korea returned fire. Two South Korean marines and two South Korean civilians were killed, six were seriously wounded, and ten were treated for minor injuries. Approximately seventy South Korean houses were destroyed. North Korean casualties were unknown, but Lee Hong-gi, the Director of Operations of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), claimed that as a result of the South Korean retaliation "there may be a considerable number of North Korean casualties".
Significant opposition to the U.S. presence in South Korea began with democratization in the 1980s. Initially, the opposition was a small movement due to the country's conservatism and the association between anti-Americanism and communism. Behind leaders like Father Mun Jeong Hyeon, a Roman Catholic priest who had previously been active in the Gwangju Democratization Movement, the movement became more popular and mainstream over the next two decades. In 2002, anti-American sentiment in South Korea spiked after two U.S. soldiers in an armored vehicle accidentally hit and killed two South Korean teenage girls in the Yangju highway incident. An expansion of Camp Humphreys later in the decade saw protests, drawing thousands of South Korean citizens resulting in occasional violent clashes and arrests. Following a series of large protests against the U.S. and Republic of Korea governments' plan to expand Camp Humphreys and make it the main base for most U.S. troops in South Korea., residents of Daechuri and other small villages near Pyeongtaek agreed to a government settlement to leave their homes in 2006 and allow for the base expansion. Compensation for the land averaged 600 million won (about 600,000 USD) per resident.In 2011 and 2012, anti-U.S.-military activists occupied Gangjeong, Jeju Province, in protest of a planned Naval refueling base. U.S. soldiers have frequently abandoned foreign wives and children; in June 2010, U.S. forces initiated a service to identify and locate the soldiers responsible. Western princess (prostitutes servicing U.S. soldiers) have resulted in a negative image for Korean women who have relationships with American men.
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Each year the ROK, the US and a selection of Sending States from the United Nations Command participate in multiple defense-oriented, combined and joint training events designed to defend the Republic of Korea, protect the region, and maintain and increase stability on the Korean peninsula.
Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) is an annual simulation driven, command transformation-oriented Command Post Exercise (CPX). Elements of the ROK and US governments participate, as well as ROK and US forces from on and off the Korean peninsula. UFG integrates the annual ROK government exercise “Ulchi”, which focuses on procedures for transitioning to war, government support. Ulchi also emphasizes ROK procedures for coordination between government and military organizations from the national to local level. UFG typically incorporates the following components: a Crisis Management Exercise focused on strategic and operational decisions needed to de-escalate a crisis, or posture the command for successful execution of the appropriate OPLAN if the enemy actions dictate; a Senior Leader Seminar (SLS) designed to foster senior-level discussion on a variety of topics related to crisis management and warfighting; and a two-week Computer Assisted Exercise that exercises the transition to war, defense, and counteroffensive phases of the warfight. The exercise culminates in detailed senior leader level After-Action Reviews (AARs).
Key Resolve (KR) is over the course of a two week long CFC and ROK crisis management and warfighting exercise. It provides invaluable opportunities to evaluate, train, and improves combined and joint coordination, procedures, plans and systems necessary for the conduct of contingency operations by ROK and US forces. It is a simulation driven Command Post exercise that exercises the defense of the ROK and the ability of the US to bring forces into the Theater of Operations to participate in that defense. The exercise culminates in detailed senior leader level AARs.
Foal Eagle (FE) is a series of component-sponsored joint and combined Field Training Exercises (FTX) that support training of OPLAN related tasks via participation of selected off-peninsula units. FE demonstrates US power projection and rapid deployment capabilities and is conducted concurrently, but not linked to, the KR CPX. Tactical units are the primary FE FTX training audience exercising all aspects of CFC's mission; rear area security, support operations, RSOI, special operations, ground maneuver, expeditionary operations, air combat operations, and maritime operations.
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See also 
- Military of South Korea
- Military of North Korea
- United Nations Command (Korea)
- Special Operations Command Korea
- Commander Naval Forces Korea
- KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to US Army)
- United States Forces Japan (USFJ)
- List of United States Army installations in South Korea
- United States Army Military Government in Korea (1945–1948)
- Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of Korea
- Aftermath of the Korean War
- Division of Korea
- 38th parallel north
- Future Korean War
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- United States Forces Korea (USFK) official website
- U.S. Forces, Korea / ROK-US Combined Forces Command (globalsecurity.org)
- U.S. Naval Forces Korea official website
- 8th Fighter Wing, Kusan Air Base official website
- 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base official website
- "Northern Limit Line (NLL) West Sea Naval Engagements". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2006-08-01.
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