Every year, the U.S. and South Korea team up for one of the world’s largest military exercises. Thousands of troops backed by fighter aircraft, strategic bombers and Navy warships plan for the worst.
But America’s elite Special Operations Forces are also involved—planning for the day when they might be the first ones tasked with stepping across the DMZ.
The training is a less publicized element of the Pentagon’s exercises in South Korea, which are emphasized as defensive in nature. But for three days in April 2013, American commandos carried out simulated North Korea missions during Balance Knife 13-1—part of the much larger Foal Eagle exercise—near Iksan and Damyang, South Korea.