Joint Working Group visits Osan Air Base

Earlier this month, members of the Republic of Korea (ROK) — U.S. Alliance Biological Defense Cooperation Joint Working Group (JWG) visited the Osan Air Base.

Their main focus was to review the alliance's biological defense programs and to make sure that these programs are effective in defending South Korea and its interests in cases of biological threats. They looked over the Biologial Identification Capability Set training facility during their stay.

“This joint working group is incorporating information from the Department of Defense review, and it will continue to ensure reliability and transparency of the ROK-US capabilities to defend the Republic of Korea,” Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Robert Hedelund, U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) assistant chief of staff for Strategy, Plans and Policy and the USFK lead for the JWG, said. “I am confident that this working group will build on the progress we have made as an alliance since the date of the incident. Biological defense cooperation will continue to ensure that our alliance remains ready to defend the Republic of Korea.”

This is the JWG's first visit to the facility since a May report indicated that the base may have been the recipient of anthrax samples with traces of live material. They report that samples were eliminated in a medically sound manner upon receiving the report.