The Army confirmed something Wednesday many around Fort Stewart had known, or at least suspected, for months.
The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team is headed to South Korea, marking the first time since the Korean war a Marne Division unit will be stationed on that peninsula.
The unit, with some 4,000 soldiers, will case its colors in a ceremony Jan. 30 to mark the beginning of its new nine-month mission, then “start moving troops soon after that,” said Maj. Pete Bogart, the brigade’s public affairs officer.
Bogart would not say how many soldiers will deploy, but he expects it to be the “vast majority” of the brigade — apart from a small contingent of soldiers left behind to provide administrative and family support.
The deployment is to “multiple bases on the Korean peninsula,” Bogart said, in support of the 2nd Infantry Division and the Republic of Korea Army. He said 3rd ID soldiers will use tanks and other equipment already in Korea.
The 1st Brigade is the fifth unit to be deployed to South Korea and is replacing the 1st Cavalry Division’s 2nd ABCT. The rotation of units has been ongoing since 2015, though the Army hadn’t announced the first Brigade’s turn until Wednesday.
That may have been due to long-simmering tensions between North Korea and the United States over the isolated communist country’s nuclear tests, and exchanges between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Bogart said soldiers watch TV news and are aware of the tensions, but “it hasn’t changed our training or our mission of supporting the 2nd Infantry Division. Their motto is ‘Fight tonight,’ because they’re always ready to ready to go to war at a moment’s notice, and we’ve trained to a high state of readiness since we knew this mission was coming.”
Known as the Raider Brigade, the 1st ABCT recently spent two months at the National Training Center in California gearing up for the deployment.
“The Raider Brigade has a proud history of answering the nation’s call and recently completed a rigorous training cycle with a rotation to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.” said Col. Mike Adams, brigade commander. “We are trained and ready to perform our mission as a combat-ready force supporting vital theater operational requirements.”