CAMP HOVEY, South Korea - In March, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, completed a rotation at the National Training Center located in Fort Irwin, Calif. This training was in preparation for their upcoming mission to replace 1s Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea this summer.
A small observer-controller team from 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, accompanied the 2nd BCT during the rotation to give advice on the brigade's mission on the Peninsula. 3-8th Cav. Regt. is on a nine-month rotation to South Korea and currently falls under the 1st ABCT.
"Both units are from Fort Hood, and we are very familiar with the way 1st Cavalry trains and what requirements they need to meet," said 1st Lt. Michael Counihan, the 3-8th Cav. Regt Battalion Chemical Officer. "There are very Korean-specific aspects related to the alliance we brought that helped 2nd BCT to prepare while they were at NTC."
The Army is very lucky to have strong allies with the Republic of Korea Army, said Counihan. This is something some rotational units may not be used to depending on what deployments they have been on. The OCT emphasized to 2nd BCT the importance of and the help received from the ROKA in combined exercises.
"The relationship with South Korea and 1st ABCT has been around for decades," said Counihan. "Rotating units to South Korea is an opportunity for more formations in the U.S. Army to work with our close allies in the ROK Army. I think this will strengthen the alliance because more units will interact with our allies here."
Counihan said members of 2nd BCT who he spoke with were excited about coming to the Peninsula. 2nd BCT has built up a cohesive team and will be bring their combined experiences to continue the successes of 1st ABCT.
"I have seen rotations both in Iraq and Afghanistan ... what that experience has taught us is how to understand the environment we are going operate in," said Lt. Col. Jason Tussey, the commander of 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd BCT. "You have to understand the culture, the people, the economics, the government and local military forces. You just have to understand all those things in order to maintain a good relationship with the population."