New deputy chief of S. Korea-U.S. combined command hails unit in 45th founding anniv.

SEOUL, The new deputy commander of the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC) on Tuesday hailed the unit as the strongest combat command of the “free world” in a ceremony marking its 45th founding anniversary.

Gen. Kang Shin-chul made the remark in the ceremony at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 60 kilometers south of Seoul, attended by some 120 South Korean and U.S. officials, including Lt. Gen. Willard M. Burleson, commander of the 8th U.S. Army, according to the CFC.

Launched in 1978, the CFC has been the allies’ core warfighting headquarters, tasked with countering potential North Korean provocations and aggression.

“(The CFC) is the alpha and omega of the South Korea-U.S. alliance and has established itself as the strongest combat command representing the free world,” Kang said, calling for joint efforts to open a “renaissance” era of the alliance.

Burleson, who doubles as the CFC’s chief of staff, highlighted the importance of training to maintain readiness.

“As we look to the future, we must continue to realistically train together to remain the most lethal, ready and combined force in the world,” he said.

Kang was appointed to his new post on Oct. 29 as part of a major reshuffle of top South Korean generals.

Source: Yonhap News Agency