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Wargames in South Korea

The Defence Force has taken part in Exercise Freedom Shield, exploring regional security and crisis situations on the Korean Peninsula.

12 April, 2023

Exercise Freedom Shield is a simulated wargame led by the United States Forces Korea (USFK) and Republic of Korea (ROK). The United Nations Command (UNC) HQ is supported by the United Nations Sending States (UNSS) nations who provide additional personnel to the UNC HQ. Seven personnel from across the three services participated to cover various roles augmenting the HQ UNC.

The participants had the opportunity to visit the Joint Security Area which involved a tour of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the border between North and South Korea.

NZDF Senior National Representative, Colonel Paul Curry says it was a privilege to participate on this exercise.

“We have a long standing and valued relationship with the UNC and we enjoy and benefit from opportunities like this one to train with the UNC HQ alongside the UNSS. This exercise provides essential development for our people to gain knowledge and skills within the UNC setting and to build strong professional and personal relationships with our UNC military whanau.”

This iteration of Ex Freedom Shield introduced new scenarios which centred on defensive operations. There was a significant emphasis on Information Operations and learning opportunities linked to current conflicts. The exercise scenario spanned conventional operations to non-conventional and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR). This allowed HQ UNC to develop procedures and functions that had not previously been exercised, such as Medical evacuations and input from National Command Elements. 

The exercise achieved the outcome of increasing readiness of the UNC Alliance in response to a potential crisis on the Korean Peninsula, while enhancing interoperability and strengthening professional relationships with the contributing nations.