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“The South Korean Special Warfare Command’s high altitude infiltration capabilities are the best in the world.”

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup encouraged the high altitude low opening (HALO) teams

Hosted by CISM in Spain with 10 countries competing

First win for female HALO Team in an international competition

“The South Korean Special Warfare Command’s high a


Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup (left) meets with and encourages male and female HALO teams of Special Warfare Command who raised the standing of the South Korean Armed Forces in the CISM World Military Parachuting Tournament, at the Defense Ministry in Yongsan-gu, Seoul on July 31. Provided by the Ministry of National Defense


On July 31, Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup invited the teams of the Special Warfare Command to the MND Convention Center in Yongsan-gu, Seoul. He commended them for their exceptional performance at the 2023 International Military Sports Council (CISM) Parachuting International Military Tournament and for enhancing the reputation of the South Korean Armed Forces.


Minister Lee said “This achievement would not have been possible without the extreme physical training and high-level realistic exercises of the members of the Special Warfare Command, and regardless of ranking and awards in the competition, I recognize the hard work of our HALO teams who have been dedicated to their duties.”


He added, “With this competition, you publicized the combat capabilities of our military and proved that the high-altitude infiltration capability of the ROK Army Special Warfare Command is at the world’s best level, and I urge you to be dedicated to the nation and the military with pride as elite members of the Special Warfare Command.”


The tournament was held at San Javier Air Base in Murcia, Spain, from July 15 to 21, 2023. HALO teams from the top 10 countries that had participated and performed well in the 45th World Military Parachuting Championship in June 2022 competed in this event. In the championship last year, the Special Warfare Command's male and female teams ranked ninth and second, respectively and so were qualified to participate in the CISM Military Parachuting Tournament this year.


In this tournament, the female team secured the 'Team Overall Female' title. They achieved first place in the 4-way formation skydiving category, second in team accuracy, and third in individual overall. Additionally, they claimed both second and third places in style. This marks Korea's first victory in the 'Team Overall' category in an international competition since it began participating in the World Military Parachuting Championship in 1995.


The Defense Ministry explained, “HALO airdrop is the most clandestine wartime infiltration of special warfare command personnel into enemy territory, and participation in international competitions offers a good opportunity to enhance military strength through technological exchanges with other countries as well as the cultivation of combat skills.”


Lieutenant Colonel Cho Yong-ok, head of the HALO teams, said, “While other countries focused on practicing solely for the competition, our teams did both daily duties and preparations for the competition at the same time, and intensive training for two months seems to have led to good results.”


Sergeant First Class Lee Hyeon-ji of the female team said, “Due to hot and humid weather in Spain with a temperature of over 50°C, we suffered symptoms of heat stress disorders, but we encouraged each other, saying we are representing the Korean Armed Forces, and tried to concentrate on the competition.”

By Hyun-woo, Seo <>

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