The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division assumed responsibility as the rotational armored brigade combat team in Korea during a transfer of authority (TOA) ceremony on Friday, 23 February.
Soldiers from the "Raider" brigade began arriving here in late January to begin their nine-month rotation. Raider Soldiers replace the Soldiers of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team "Black Jack," 1st Cavalry Division, who completed their second rotation to Korea after being the first rotation of a U.S. armored brigade in the Korean peninsula from June 2015 to February 2016.
Hosted by Maj. Gen. Scott McKean, 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division (RUCD) commander, the TOA ceremony was the final step in the month-long transition between the brigades.
"The strength of our Army is the ability to produce well-trained and well-led units," said McKean. "We are very fortunate to welcome the Raider Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, Rock of the Marne."
The deployment marks a historic return of 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) Soldiers to the Republic of Korea. This is the first time that Soldiers bearing the Third Infantry Division patch have served in the Republic of Korea since fighting throughout the Korean War. During the war, 3rd ID had 13 Medal of Honor recipients, received eight Battle Stars, and were awarded The Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation. The 7th Infantry Regiment of 3ID recorded more combat time than any other infantry unit in Korea.
"I would like to thank the Second Infantry ROK-U.S. Combined Division, our Republic of Korea Army counterparts, the cities of Dongducheon and Pyeongtaek, for all their support and coordination that has contributed to making this transition successful," said Col. Mike Adams, commander, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team. "To the Black Jack team, thank you for the seamless transition, your candor, and for absolutely setting the Raider Brigade on the path to mission accomplishment."
The Raider Brigade has a storied history including four deployment to Iraq and most recently a deployment to Europe in 2015 as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. While this is a new mission for the Raider Brigade and 3ID, it is the Army's fifth such rotation to the Republic of Korea. The rotations began in 2015 after the 2nd Infantry Division's last organic combat brigade, the Iron Brigade, was deactivated.
In Korea, the Raider Brigade will be supporting the 2nd Infantry Division in deterring North Korean aggression and maintaining peace on the Peninsula.
"The seriousness of this mission is paramount, because forces that don't have the skill to win cannot deter," said Adams. "Every Raider Soldier, NCO, and Officer represented on the field today are ready to maintain themselves and their equipment at the highest state of readiness."