By Tim Oberle, Eighth Army Public AffairsMarch 27, 2015
As part of Foal Eagle, one of the largest annual field-training exercises in the world, the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division partnered with the Republic of Korea 137th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, 8th Infantry Division to conduct a combined capabilities exercise Mar. 25 at the Multi-Purpose Range Complex in Pocheon, South Korea.
The capabilities exercise, which integrated ground and air elements, is held annually as part of the defensive-postured Foal Eagle exercise to bring together South Korean and U.S. Army units to increase readiness in a combined environment at multiple echelons.
Leaders from both the U.S. and South Korean Army spoke to members of the Korean and international media in attendance prior to beginning the exercise about the importance of partnership and cooperation between their units.
"It has been our privilege for the last couple of weeks to partner with such a professional organization," said Lt. Col. Neal Mayo, Commander 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd SBCT. "The depth of our partnership is a direct reflection of the duty and dedication shown by all of our soldiers."
"Building on that foundation we have conducted tough and realistic training…to increase unit readiness and interoperability," continued Mayo. "Both the Army of the Republic of Korea and the U.S. demand that we be ready to respond to any contingency and the relationships that we have developed have made us stronger."
"We had a great opportunity to have training with a field proven unit," added Lt. Col. Chang, Hyun Su, from the 137th Mech. Inf. Bde. "It was a great opportunity for ROK Army Soldiers to have training with U.S. Army Soldiers"
Neither, the 27th Infantry Battalion or the 25th Infantry Division, are strangers to the Korean Peninsula both having deployed here during the Korean War. Currently they are stationed at Schofield Barracks in Wahiawa, Hawaii, but maintain a well-established legacy of service in the region having contributed to the defense of the Pusan Perimeter and the recapture of Seoul.
As the exercise came to a close, the Commander of the 2nd SBCT Col. David Womack spoke about the important bridge that his unit maintains with the Korean Peninsula.
"The 25th Infantry Division has a great history on the peninsula," said Womack, "and the infantry battalion that participated in today's training had four Soldiers receive the Medal of Honor during the Korean War, so we are very familiar with the importance of the U.S.-ROK Alliance."