SEOUL — U.S. Forces Korea personnel should avoid protests during a major training exercise to begin later this month, according to a military news release.

“Officials expect both registered and unregistered gatherings” during the Aug. 21-Sept. 1 command post exercise dubbed Ulchi Focus Lens, the release stated.

No gatherings were registered formally as of late last week, according to the release.

Military personnel were urged to follow force-protection guidance that directs them to avoid “large civil gatherings and interaction with protestors.” Civilian employees, contractors and family members were urged to follow the same precautions, according to the release.

The exercise, which involves 5,000 U.S. servicemembers stationed in South Korea and 3,000 stationed elsewhere, is designed to train, evaluate and improve combined and joint procedures, plans and systems for conducting operations critical to defending the peninsula, officials have said.

USFK officials also posted a list of planned civil gatherings though Aug. 15. They include:

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