Army Stryker brigade arrives in South Korea as rotational force
Stars and Stripes October 11, 2022
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — A Stryker Brigade Combat Team from the 2nd Infantry Division arrived in South Korea on Saturday as part of the Army’s annual rotational force in the country.
Stryker vehicles and other equipment from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team were offloaded at the Port of Pyeongtaek near Camp Humphreys, according to a news release from 8th Army on Friday. The base is the home of U.S. Forces Korea, U.N. Command, 8th Army and the 2nd Infantry Division.
The division announced in July that the team out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., would replace the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division from Fort Bliss, Texas, which will be returning home after a nine-month tour in South Korea.
Roughly 4,000 soldiers are attached to Stryker brigade combat teams. Centered on Stryker vehicles that can be configured for narrowly defined missions, they are able to perform with fewer resources than armored brigade combat teams.
Stryker brigade combat teams “provide the Korean theater of operations an expeditionary, combined arms force organized around mounted infantry,” 8th Army spokesman Lt. Col. Neil Penttila said in the release. “They operate effectively in diverse terrain and weather conditions, while enabling greater mobility and concentration of combat power.”
The majority of the new forces will be stationed at Humphreys and at Camp Hovey, roughly 15 miles from the border with North Korea. Around 28,500 U.S troops are stationed in South Korea, mostly at Camp Humphreys.
The Stryker team from Washington will be the 12th rotational brigade since the Korea Rotational Force program launched in 2015.
An Army news release in June said the transition from an armored to a Stryker brigade combat team “would enable the U.S. to maintain capabilities on the Korean peninsula to rapidly respond to any acts of aggression.”
The Stryker team’s arrival in South Korea comes amid a record number of North Korean missile tests. The communist regime has fired over 40 missiles in 24 rounds of tests since January, its most recent launch on Sunday.
North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency on Monday said its tests were prompted by joint military drills between the United States and South Korean forces.
U.S. and South Korean ground forces restarted their large-scale drills in August after a five-year pause; the two countries and Japan also held naval drills earlier this month.