Family and friends were on hand to welcome home the first wave of Soldiers form the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, June 12 at Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas.
The 'Devil' brigade deployed to South Korea in October 2016 as part of a regular rotation of forces in support of the Republic of Korea--U.S. alliance under the 2nd Infantry Division. For the last nine months, 1st ABCT has trained closely with their South Korean counterparts in order to deter North Korean aggression and provide security to the Korean peninsula.
"Soldiers from across the 1st Inf. Div. were fired up last Thursday on the 8th of June as the division celebrated our 100th year of service," said Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley acting senior commander, during his speech at the redeployment ceremony. "But tonight, 15,500 Soldiers of the Big Red One are fired up because they're welcoming home the 305 Devil brigade Soldiers standing before us who have been on point for the nation deployed for nine months to Korea."
While deployed, 1st ABCT split across three installations on the Korea peninsula and trained to conduct non-combat evacuation operations, counter weapons of mass destruction, air assault operations and decisive action. The unit maintained a high state of readiness to "Fight Tonight," should deterrence fail. Nearly all training events were joint-force efforts conducted alongside the brigade's South Korean army counterparts.
"These Soldiers are proud members of Devil brigade combat team," Frank said. "They belong to one of the most combat-ready brigades in the entire Army. They were forward deployed to support our South Korean allies against the constant threat posed by North Korea. When the enemy looks across the DMZ and sees the Devil brigade with its M1 tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Paladin artillery systems and 4,000 well-trained tough U.S. Soldiers; what the North Koreans see is American deterrence."
The remainder of 1st ABCT Soldiers are scheduled to redeploy in the coming weeks.
This "is the 100th anniversary of the 1st. Inf. Div., the nation's most storied division," Frank said. "These Soldiers who are up front have each written their own chapter in 1ID history. They have lived the division motto -- No Mission too Difficult; No Sacrifice too Great; Duty First!"