Outgoing US Forces Korea Commander Praises Joint Progress

Great progress has been made with regards to joint operations and information sharing with the South Korean military in the past several years, said outgoing US Forces Korea Commander Army Gen. James Thurman on Tuesday. “We’ve got good interoperability across our joint force, and not just army forces, but our maritime, our air,” he said during a joint press briefing with US Pacific Command boss Adm. Samuel Locklear in Seoul. “I have not experienced a better place where units are able to conduct tough, realistic, joint, combined and multinational training like we do here,” said Thurman. The Oct. 1 briefing came on the same day that US and South Korean forces marked the 60th anniversary of the US-South Korea bilateral defense treaty. It came one day before Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti takes the USFK command reins from Thurman, who has led US forces on the Korean peninsula since July 2011. Thurman noted that USFK and the South Koreans now have a “bilateral counter-provocation plan” in place to control escalation after North Korean misdeeds. (Locklear-Thurman transcript)