SEOUL — This year is the last that troops in South Korea will participate in the annual exercises named Reception Staging Onward Movement and Integration and Ulchi Focus Lens.

Beginning next year, they will find themselves in similar exercises with new names: Key Resolve and Ulchi Freedom Guardian.

While the primary focus of each exercise will remain unchanged, said U.S. Forces Korea spokesman Air Force Lt. Col. Wayne Perry, the intent is to signify transformation on the peninsula.

Under a South Korea-U.S. agreement, the South Korean government will take operational wartime command of its own forces in April 2012.

“We’re transforming, and the names of the past reflect the past,” said Perry. “We want to reflect the future.”

He said the changes mostly will be at the command-and-control level of the exercises, and will not be immediately visible to rank-and-file troops.

“The guy who drives a tank is still going to drive a tank. The guy who shoots a gun is still going to shoot a gun,” Perry said.

The name change will go into effect for the first major training exercise in calendar year 2008, Perry said. He wouldn’t give specific dates.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now