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Canadian Names as Deputy Commander of UN Command in Korea

Old Sweat

Army.ca Fixture
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The Globe and Mail reports in this story reproduced under the Fair Comment provisions of the Copyright Act that Lieutenant General Wayne Eyre will assume the position of Deputy Commander of the UN Command in Korea this summer.

UN Command names Canadian to key post in South Korea for the first time


A Canadian soldier has been appointed deputy commander at the United Nations Command in South Korea, a post that will place Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre at the centre of deliberations over the future of the Asian Peninsula.

The United Nations Command is the multinational force that was created in response to North Korean aggression more than half a century ago and which defended South Korea during the Korean War.

Lt.-Gen. Eyre’s new assignment comes as U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un prepare for a historic meeting in June that could have major implications for the future of the two Koreas.

This is the first time a Canadian has served as deputy commander of the United Nations Command, the Canadian military says, and the first time in the command’s 68-year-history that this post has been offered to a non-American officer.

The Korean War ended without a permanent peace. An armistice concluded hostilities in 1953 and the United Nations Command signed it on behalf of more than 15 allies including Canada.

The command remains intact and plays a role in armistice maintenance and defensive support alongside the U.S.-South Korea Combined Forces Command.

Euan Graham, director of the international-security program at the Sydney-based Lowy Institute, says the top American general in South Korea has been trying to revitalize the United Nations Command as a “coalition of the willing” after many years of the United States ignoring the multinational force. He said the appointment of a Canadian as second-in-command is in keeping with that.

Canada has stepped up its efforts regarding the Korean conflict in recent months. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland co-hosted a January, 2018 meeting of foreign ministers with former secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

The Canadian military sent a CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft along with 40 people to Japan in April to participate in a mission countering North Korea’s maritime smuggling.

Lt.-Gen. Eyre is regarded as a rising star in the Canadian military. He recently served as the head of the Canadian Army in Western Canada as commander of 3rd Canadian Division in Edmonton and Joint Task Force West. He commanded the task force that secured the 2010 Group of Eight Summit, as well as the military response to both the 2015 Saskatchewan wildfires and the 2016 Fort McMurray evacuation.

General Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff in Canada, said there are other ways to contribute to international efforts besides deploying big numbers of soldiers. “Doing our part for global peace and security is often more than sending a large contingent of Canadian Armed Forces members,” Gen. Vance said.

“In sending Lieutenant-General Eyre as the next deputy commander of UNC-Korea, I am dispatching an accomplished‎ general officer who will, I am certain, represent Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces with distinction.” The posting is for a two-year period.

The United Nations Command could assume greater importance in the months and years ahead regardless of how negotiations with North Korea turn out.

Retired South Korean lieutenant-general In-Bum Chun recently proposed that the UN Command could be used to help monitor and supervise any denuclearization arrangement. Conversely, if talks flounder, the multinational force would also be needed.

Writing on the website 38 North for the U.S.-Korea Institute at John Hopkins University, Mr. Chun said that if South Korea opted for a nuclear deterrent, the command could provide the same oversight of Seoul’s nuclear effort. If war broke out, the command would undertake a key role through seven bases and staging areas in nearby Japan, Mr. Chun wrote in a September, 2017 analysis on 38 North.

The Canadian army officer was promoted to lieutenant-general as part of the posting. This gives him the same rank as the heads of the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Fen Hampson, director of the global security & politics program at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, said Mr. Trump’s talks with North Korea amount to a roll of the dice and the multinational commitment through the United Nations Command helps buttress negotiations but also represents an important fallback in security terms if things turn sour.

“Canada’s kind of been on and off again when it comes to [playing a role] in Asian security and the Korea meeting in Vancouver and this upgrading of our role at the United Nations Command shows we’re taking this more seriously.”
Also former RSSO of the RWpgRif which he lists on his Bio.
We no longer have a Canadian at Ft Hood maybe the brass decided to make a room in Korea.Although doing so at Pacific Command or Europe would be better.
tomahawk6 said:
We no longer have a Canadian at Ft Hood maybe the brass decided to make a room in Korea.Although doing so at Pacific Command or Europe would be better.

They are at Bragg and Lewis now, as DCGs.
SeaKingTacco said:
This isn't a US military job- it is a UN.

Yes and no.  Maybe.  Possibly.  Maybe not.  Who the ****s knows.

Though not an official source, this is probably as good an explanation of UNC as to be found elsewhere.

United Nations Command

The USG established the UNC to lead UN member nation’s forces in
the summer 1950 following North Korea’s invasion of the ROK. The
U.S. was already supporting the ROK with ground, sea and air forces
when the United Nations Security Council enacted Security Council
Resolution 84. The UN Security Council requested UN member nations
provide military forces under a U.S. unified command, and the U.S.
appoint a commander of such forces.37 The UN Security Council
resolution did not authorize the establishment of a command, but
sanctioned the command’s actions on behalf of the UN’s first collective
security effort.
It did this by authorizing the U.S. command to fly the
UN flag during the course of its operations and by requesting the USG to
submit reports on the command’s activities.38 The USG coined the
unified command’s naming convention.39

The UNC Commander is a FO/GO in the grade of O-10 appointed by
the USG. The UNC works for, and reports to, the USG. The UNC’s
reporting channel runs through the U.S. CJCS to the Secretary of
Defense, and culminates with the U.S. President. USPACOM is not
within UNC’s command or reporting chain; however, the UNC is
expected to inform USPACOM on its communication with the U.S.
CJCS.40 The UNC provides routine status reports through the U.S. Joint
Staff and U.S. Department of Defense, to the U.S. Department of State
and its UN delegation, and onward to the Security Council and the UN
Secretary General.41 The UNC’s mission, command relations, support
relations, functions, and communications channels are codified in
Memorandum, Joint Chiefs of Staff 9-83 (MJCS-9-83), a Terms of
Reference (TOR) document issued in 1983.42

The UNC was established as a belligerent, not a peacekeeper.43 The
“UN” in the UNC’s naming convention often confuses the casual
observer in that the command has more affiliation with the UN body than
it actually does.44 The UNC is more akin to contemporary UN
authorizations for collective security actions such as the American and
Saudi Arabian-led coalition mission for Operation Desert Storm in
Kuwait and Iraq, than to other UN missions
including the UN Protection
Force (UNPROFOR) in the former Yugoslavia.45 This dichotomy has
resulted in the UN Security Council and the wider UN system having
distanced itself from the UNC since the conclusion of active hostilities in
Korea in mid-1953.
Despite the UN’s distancing itself from the UNC,
the UNC-related UN Security Council Resolutions remain active.
Though a USG-established command, the UNC has served since its
inception as the venue for UN member nations to provide military forces
to the defense of the ROK.
These nations are referred to as the UNC
Sending States.46 Multinational Sending States maintain their interests
and equities in the UNC through liaison teams, as well as their
ambassadors to the ROK; there are currently 16 active UN member
nations.47 Some of these nations have formalized Foreign Exchange
Officer agreements with the USG. Foreign officers have been formally
appointed to UNC staff positions, although this is a recent

The UNC is no longer the theater-level warfighter command it was
in the 1950-1953 Korean War; it is not the headquarters responsible for
the defense of the ROK. These roles and missions were transferred to
the CFC in 1978, at which time the UNC became a multinational
supporting command. Despite this change of mission focus, the UNC
retains the responsibility for maintaining friendly force compliance to the
Armistice Agreement. Regardless of the changes to UNC’s role and
missions, the command remains a belligerent and an active participant to
the Armistice. However, the UNC no longer has an active enemy
counterpart per the terms of the Armistice Agreement; the Korean
People’s Army (KPA) and the Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV)
withdrew their Military Armistice Commission (MAC) representatives in
the mid-1990s.49 In spite of the KPA and CPV withdrawal, the UNC
continues to appoint its MAC delegation (UNC MAC). The KPA’s
successor to the KPA MAC, the Panmunjom Representatives delegation,
formally notified the UNC MAC delegation on April 4, 1996 that it
intended to withdraw from the Armistice Agreement, as well as its
responsibilities related to the maintenance and administration of the
Korean Demilitarized Zone and Military Demarcation Line.50 Regardless
of the CPV and KPA withdrawal from the Armistice Agreement and its
provisions, the UNC adheres to the letter and spirit of the cease fire
document, including maintaining the formal mechanisms codified in the
Armistice. These include continued support to the UNC MAC
delegation and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission.51
However, despite the opposing side’s withdrawal from the Armistice and
its mechanisms, the KPA still tacitly complies with the Armistice,
periodically meeting with the UNCMAC delegation via the General
Officer Talk venue, concluding several supplementary agreements to the
Armistice, and largely respecting the Military Demarcation Line, Han
River Estuary, and Demilitarized Zone.52

Small-scale engagements and battles have occurred repeatedly since
the cease fire was concluded 63 years ago. Historically, the UNC
Commander’s most effective tool to maintain the Armistice Agreement
following initial self-defense actions by ROK (and U.S.) forces has been
to separate friendly forces from the opposing enemy forces, and prevent
the resumption or escalation of localized hostilities.53 Since 1978, and in
particular after the 1994 ROKG’s withdraw of operational control, the
UNC Commander can request the CFC Commander to exercise CODA
over ROK forces through the ROK CJCS to direct this separation of
friendly forces.54 CODA requests can be time consuming, as it is
difficult to reach units in contact and depends on Korean compliance.
Since it was developed in 1994, CODA has only been exercised once
with troops in contact or immediately following an engagement. This
occurred after a 2002 ROK-DPRK naval engagement. CODA was
exercised to support a recovery operation of the sunken ROK ship. The
operation was carried out under a UN flag.55
Blackadder1916 said:
Yes and no.  Maybe.  Possibly.  Maybe not.  Who the ****s knows.

It's not.  The Commander US Forces Korea (USFK - a sub-unified command under USPACOM) is a US 4*.  He is also appointed as the commander of the Combined Forces Command, the combined US-South Korean command (with a South Korean 4*Deputy) and as commander of the United Nations Command with, now, a Canadian 3* Deputy.  These are three separate hats.
Infanteer said:
It's not.  . . .

It's not what?  A US military job? Or a UN job?  I was responding to the comment "This isn't a US military job- it is a UN.".  I guess I should have included the sarcasm emoji when I prefaced my comment to the quoted piece that (to me anyway) very aptly explained that UNC is essentially an American HQ and that the UN (despite being part of the command's title which lends to the confusion of who the organization reports to) gives no direction in it's operation.

SeaKingTacco said:
This isn't a US military job- it is a UN.

There is a US commander and most of the staff is American,until the Combined Forces Command was stood up with a ROK Army 4 star as deputy.I have served in Korea several times in my career and my dad worked in the UNC/USFK/8th Army Hq at Yongsan.Now its all moved to Camp Humphries south of Seoul.
tomahawk6 said:
We no longer have a Canadian at Ft Hood maybe the brass decided to make a room in Korea. Although doing so at Pacific Command or Europe would be better.
It is probably a CF decision.As has been mentioned Brig. Gen. Marc Gagne is at ft Bragg.Alaska has a Canadian Colonel one Roch Pelletier.BG Fortin was reassigned and promoted and is CG 1st  Canadian Division. Lieutenant-General Pierre St-Amand is the Deputy Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command

tomahawk6 said:
Although doing so at Pacific Command or Europe would be better.
It is probably a CF decision.
Sorry, I was actually curious why you thought Pacific Command or Europe would be a better posting for Gen Eyre, rather than Korea.
Canada has a wider range of national interests Europe would be supporting NATO and in the Pacific there are national interests like China. I Corps and Alaska for example are now part of Pacific Command.Of course the USAF in Alaska also have a NORAD mission.

I personally believe that Canada has interests in a stable Korean peninsula -- both security interests (Asian flash-point) and political interests (demonstrating solidarity with US).

Not wanting to re-visit a can of worms, but given our Mali decision (seriously folks, everything you want to say has already been said!), I'm doubting that security or political (not to be confused with governmental) interests enter many such decision-making equations.  In this case, it seems like a rational call.

Good on LGen Eyre.  :nod:

Before Britain withdrew from Hong Kong the UNC/8th Army honor guard company rotated a platoon.Besides ceremonial tasks the unit provides for security of general officers and the HQ.There is also a Royal Thai Army contingent.