CAMP CASEY, South Korea (Jan. 10, 2012) -- 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.

"As I walked around and had the opportunity to be with Soldiers, I saw how excited they are about their mission and what they are accomplishing here," said Odierno, a native of New Jersey. "This is a great opportunity for our Soldiers to improve their own capabilities with their own technical and tactical missions that they have."

During his more than 35 years in the U.S. Army, Odierno has commanded at every level from platoon to corps, including his recent tours as the commander of Multinational Forces-Iraq and U.S. Joint Forces Command.

Odierno thanked all American Soldiers and military families for their service.

"I'm completely indebted to the great service of our Soldiers and all of our family members," said Odierno. "I'm incredibly proud to be the chief of staff of the Army and to be associated with these great Soldiers and families."

Page last updated Mon January 14th, 2013 at 06:26