Ulchi Focus Lens kicks off Published Aug. 25, 2006 By Maj. Michael Shavers 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Exercise Ulchi Focus Lens '06 kicked off Monday at Osan and across the Korean peninsula. UFL, as the exercise is commonly known, takes place each year in the late summer. It's a command post exercise designed to provide simulated combined training for U.S. and Korean forces and to strengthen the alliance between the two countries. "These exercises are designed to help teach, coach and mentor younger military personnel while exercising senior leader decision-making capabilities," said Lt. Gen. Garry R. Trexler, 7th Air Force commander and Air Component Command commander. "Equally important, they are part of testing and evaluating the most complex, most effective weapon system in the USAF inventory: our Air Operations Center." Forces from all branches of the United States military as well as their South Korean counterparts practice working together in an alliance that stretches back to the Korean War. This annual training exercise is the 32nd iteration of this series which began in 1975. Additionally, a small number of U.S. forces deploy to the Republic of Korea for this exercise. The Combined Forces Command year-round training program is essential to maintaining readiness to defend the Republic of Korea against external aggression, according to UFL officials. The exercise also demonstrates the U.S. commitment to the South Korean-U.S. alliance, while enhancing the combat readiness of both forces through combined and joint training. At Osan, the most visible part of the exercise comes from providing support to the deployed personnel in a tent city. The United Nations Command located at Yongsan has informed the Korean People's Army in North Korea about the exercise. The exercise runs through Sept. 1.