US, S. Korean troops to conduct largest combined drills in years

Colonel Isaac Taylor (left) of the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and United States Forces Korea and Colonel Lee Sung-jun of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff attend the press briefing of the Freedom Shield Exercise at the Defense Ministry, March 3, 2023 in Seoul, South Korea. (PHOTO / POOL / AP)

SEOUL – The United States and South Korea will conduct more than ten days of large-scale military drills in March, including amphibious landings, officials from the two countries said on Friday.

The exercises, dubbed "Freedom Shield", will be held from March 13-23 to strengthen the allies' combined defensive posture, the two militaries said in a statement released at a briefing in Seoul.

"Freedom Shield is designed to strengthen defense and response capabilities of the Alliance by focusing within the exercise scenario on things such as the changing security environment," the statement said.

Freedom Shield will feature field exercises on a scale not seen since about 2017.

READ MORE: US military launches space forces unit in South Korea

Over the past month South Korean and US special operations troops conducted a live-fire drill named "Teak Knife", which included a US AC-130J gunship that participated in joint drills for the first time, firing guided missiles and bombs as well as 30mm and 105mm guns.