011420-du-korea

Soldiers with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division, prepare for a deployment to Korea.

The soldiers of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, started loading their vehicles onto railcars this week in Camp Funston on Fort Riley.

“The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team will replace the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, as part of a regular rotation of forces to support the United States’ commitment to Southeast Asia allies and partners,” said Maj. Bryce Gatrell, 2nd ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. spokesperson. “Upon completion of the nine-month training mission, the brigade will return to Fort Riley.”

The rotation, announced Dec. 5, has no bearing on recent escalations in the Middle East Gatrell said.

“The United States Army Pacific routinely schedules and deploys forces on a rotational basis to South Korea,” he said. “These routine deployments support the U.S. security commitment to South Korea as specified by our mutual defense treaty and presidential agreements.”

This rotation will be similar to the recent rotation in Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, Gatrell said.

“Besides the obvious geographical and cultural differences, these rotations are very similar,” he said. “Both rotations help us conduct combined training with allies and strengthen our ability to fight as a combined team. The Republic of Korea-United States Alliance promotes peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The ROK-U.S. alliance continues to be a cornerstone of U.S. defense partnerships and posture in Northeast Asia.”

With their equipment loaded, the Dagger Brigade soldiers will use technology available on Fort Riley and borrowed equipment to certify crews before leaving.

“Although the majority of the brigade’s equipment is loaded on railcars, there are many virtual trainers like the Squad Advanced Marksmanship-Trainer and the Close Combat Tactical Trainer we use to maintain our readiness,” Gatrell said. “Also, there are opportunities to use 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team’s equipment to train.”

Families of the soldiers have opportunities to learn more about the rotation at “numerous deployment information briefs” planned in the coming weeks, Gatrell said.

“Dagger brigade leaders have provided our families with a wealth of information and resources available during the deployment,” he added. “Additionally, every battalion has a Soldier Family Readiness Group established for support. Every family situation is different. It is important for families to continually maintain their financial, legal, and medical readiness, regardless of a deployment.”

The brigade will officially begin their Korean rotation after a deployment ceremony and casing of the colors ceremony in February.

“We look forward to building friendships with our Korean counterparts,” Gatrell said. “The ROK-U.S. alliance is critical to sustaining peace on the Korean peninsula and across the region. We are excited about our rotation to the Republic of Korea and look forward to strengthening our long-standing partnership with our allies. Dagger brigade Soldiers are well-trained and ready to support any mission our nation asks of them.”

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