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SOCKOR soldiers conduct airborne jumps with a helium blimp and gondola at the ROK Drop Zone on 5 March 2009 during Exercise Key Resolve 09.

Special Operations Command Korea (SOCKOR) is a United States military organization in South Korea that provides special operations forces to United States Forces Korea, the United Nations Command, and the Combined Forces Command. During wartime, SOCKOR combines with the Korean Special Warfare Command to form the Combined Unconventional Warfare Task Force (CUWTF).

SOCKOR, located at Camp Kim in Yongsan, Korea, is the Theater Special Operations Command (TSOC) responsible for special operations on the Korean peninsula and, when established, the Korean Theater of Operations (KTO).

Command relationships

The CUWTF achieves unity of effort through a complex web of command relationships involving three military elements with different but complementary missions, all commanded by a single commander in chief (CINC). The KTO is unique because the CINC in Korea is not a U.S. unified commander.[1]

The overall military commander in South Korea has three roles:

  • As the Commander in Chief, United Nations Command (CINCUNC), he is the international commander responsible for maintaining the armistice that has existed in Korea since 1953.
  • As the Commander in Chief, Republic of Korea (ROK)/U.S. Combined Forces Command (CINCCFC), he is a bi-national commander who supports CINCUNC by deterring North Korean aggression and, if necessary, defeating a North Korean attack.
  • As the commander of U.S. Forces, Korea (COMUSKOREA), he is the subordinate unified commander of USPACOM responsible for providing U.S. forces to CINCUNC/CFC.

SOCKOR support

Because of the unique command relationships in Korea, SOCKOR is the only theater SOC that is not a subordinate unified command. Established in 1988 as a functional component command of U.S. Forces, Korea (USFK), SOCKOR is the principal organization responsible for the integration of U.S. SOF in Korea.

During armistice, SOCKOR is responsible to both USFK and USSOCOM for special operations war planning, targeting, training, and participation in exercises and contingency operations on the Korean peninsula. Special Operations Command, Pacific supports SOCKOR in these responsibilities. During armistice, contingencies, and hostilities, SOCKOR exercises operational control of the U.S. Army Special Forces Detachment, Korea (SFD-K), which is the longest continuously serving Special Forces unit in Asia. The SF liaison NCOs of SFD-K live, train, and work with the ROK Special Forces Brigades, and thus play a role in the shaping of ROK and U.S. SOF operations to support CINCUNC/CFC.

Unit decorations

The unit awards depicted below are for Headquarters, Special Operations Command Korea. Award for unit decorations do not apply to any subordinate organizations, commands or any other activities unless the orders specifically address them.

Award streamer Award Dates Notes
Streamer JMUA.PNG Joint Meritorious Unit Award 1 May 2004 - 31 March 2008 [2]

See also


External links

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