Pacific edition, Sunday, July 29, 2007

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — An annual computerized military exercise by the United States and South Korea will be held Aug. 20-31, the Combined Forces Command announced Friday.

The exercise — called Ulchi Focus Lens 2007 — uses computer-simulated scenarios to test both countries’ ability to respond to crises. This will be the 33rd year the countries have held that type of exercise, according to a CFC release.

Earlier in the week, CFC commander Gen. B.B. Bell issued a message reminding commanders and servicemembers to use safety precautions during the upcoming exercise to avoid injuries.

August, typically South Korea’s hottest month, can prompt fatigue, sickness and poor judgment, especially during the long hours of the exercise, Bell wrote.

“Some of our formations will conduct potentially high-risk training during UFL 2007,” Bell wrote in a safety message. “Commanders and leaders at all levels must take actions to minimize the hazards and mitigate these risks.”

Bell reminded commanders and leaders to:

Make sure each servicemember is challenged, but also remember that each servicemember should work within his or her own limits to avoid injury.

Use the buddy system, especially as long days of training and fatigue take their toll.

Watch for complacency.

Be mindful of the potential for heat exhaustion and dehydration.

Starting next year, the exercise will be called Ulchi Freedom Guardian, an adjustment meant to reflect U.S. forces’ changing role on the peninsula, U.S. Forces Korea officials have said.

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