ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 19th, 2013 at 8:27 am

General Odierno Says More US Attack Helicopters & Infantry Could Be Coming To Korea

» by in: USFK

I was going through some of the press releases on the Army.mil website and I found some words from Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno from his recent visit to Korea:

The U.S. Army’s top uniformed leader visited American Soldiers who serve close to the world’s most heavily armed border, Jan. 10 – 11.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno made his second visit to Korean Peninsula since taking office in September 2011.

Odierno, the 38th U.S. Army chief of staff, met with troops from the 2nd Infantry Division and 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

The 2nd Infantry Division serves with first-echelon Republic of Korea Army units just south of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. The 35th ADA Brigade employs the Patriot and Avenger air and missile defense systems.

Odierno’s wife Linda also met with military families during the visit.

Odierno said the U.S. Army will continue to play an important role on the Korean Peninsula as the U.S. military shifts its focus to the Asia Pacific region.

“The Army mission here in Korea has always been very important,” said Odierno. “As we shift our strategy to the Pacific, Korea clearly is an important part of that shift and we will continue to sustain a strong partnership and sustain a strong readiness level here in Korea.”

The chief of staff said that the 70,000 U.S. Soldiers stationed in the Asia Pacific region enhance regional security through their efforts to build stronger military-to-military relations.

According to Odierno, the U.S. Army also provides crucial logistical, signal and support capabilities to the entire joint force in the region.

Odierno added that serving in South Korea is an incredible opportunity for U.S. Soldiers.  [Army.mil]

Here are the remarks I found to be the most interesting:

“The [Republic of Korea-U.S.] Alliance has been going on now for over 60 years and the strong relationship with Republic of Korea continues to be and will always be a very important relationship for us,” said Odierno at a press conference. “As we shift our strategy in the Pacific, Korea clearly is an important part of that shift.”

Odierno said requests for expanding U.S. military presence on the peninsula with additional Apache and infantry battalions is still being discussed in Washington, D.C.

“We discussed the requirement, potentially, for additional support here in Korea,” Odierno said at a briefing at Camp Casey in South Korea. “We expect a decision on whether we will provide additional capabilities here very shortly.”  [Army.mil]

I can understand the need for more attack helicopters though I don’t agree with it, but I would really like to hear what the rationale is for additional infantry?  The ROK Army has more than enough infantry, what difference would adding a few additional US infantry battalions make during a full scale war on the peninsula?  Plus where are they going to go?  This sounds like an  attempt to keep the bases that are supposed to close in the 2nd Infantry Division open which is something that has long been speculated on here at the ROK Drop.  Like I have always said I will not believe a timeline to close either Yongsan Garrison or Camp Casey until I see the places emptied out myself.  There is decades of inertia and politics that would need to be overcome to close those bases.

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  • maui
    3:43 pm on January 19th, 2013 1

    Here is he additional soldier’s:
    http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/korea/army-relocating-chemical-warfare-battalion-to-south-korea-1.192062
    It’s more a question of missing skill sets that the RoK Army has not expanded on or a change seen on what we need (NBC).

  • LG DACOM Stinks, Royally
    6:20 pm on January 19th, 2013 2

    The 2d CAB has one fewer attack battalion than CABs are normally authorized. The Army is considering adding an additional battalion to all BCTs, thereby bringing the number of combined arms battalions in 1/2ID to three.

  • DMZDave
    10:03 am on January 20th, 2013 3

    The ROK is a wealthy country that can easily afford to purchase and deploy a Patriot battalion and attack helicopters. The Pentagon is facing significant budget reductions which will impact maintenance, training and readiness and at the same time the Obama Administration will likely seek another round of BRAC. Against that background, could Army leadership be any more politically tone deaf? If Army leadership believes the Koreans really need attack helicopters, Army generals should convince them to buy and deploy them. American taxpayers picking up the bill for a military requirement the Koreans don’t embrace given our own budget challenges should no longer be the first option.

  • JoeC
    2:32 pm on January 20th, 2013 4

    Are the decisions really being driven by Korean peninsular strategic needs or by the fact that we are in the draw down from two long wars and there are looming budget cuts coming.

    I think it has something to do with the old adage, “Use it or lose it.”

  • LG DACOM Stinks, Royally
    3:29 pm on January 20th, 2013 5

    The decisions regarding both the additional helicopter battalion and the additional combined arms battalion have everything to do with larger army issues, and nothing to do with Korea. In both cases, the army is reducing its overall number of brigades, but it doesn’t necessarily want to give up all of those brigades’ capabilities.

    What’s more important is that the Secretary of the Army announced on January 16th that all major training events are being shutdown across the Army, except only those for units who are either deploying to combat in the near future or who are already stationed in Korea. So, everyone in the Army who isn’t either deployed or in Korea is at a standstill for the foreseeable future, until there’s money.

  • Ken Turner
    11:01 am on February 7th, 2013 6

    OK. any body have an extra M-14 mabey in the USA .. pay good money. plus S&H

  • Bobby Ray
    12:34 pm on February 7th, 2013 7

    Son there aint no such thing as an extra M-14. That goes double since all that gun control talk started.

  • Tom
    2:07 pm on February 7th, 2013 8

    Let me know when they’re coming so that I can shoot them down with my BB gun.

 

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