YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea -- U.S. Army leaders mapped the way ahead in South Korea during a Strategic Planning Conference here, March 29 - 31.
Leaders and spouses from the major U.S. Army commands on the Korean Peninsula gathered to discuss many service-wide and peninsula-specific subjects.
During the three-day conference at the Dragon Hill Lodge, experts held briefings on subjects ranging from alliance transformation and daily life in north Korea to leadership and the new Army physical fitness program.
"This conference gave us the chance to engage in dialog about many important issues," said Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson. "I come away from it more convinced than ever that we will only grow and these discussions and time spent together, will make us stronger and more capable in the future."
Describing his vision for the U.S. Army in South Korea, Johnson said the transformation of the U.S. Army stance in South Korea will increase combat readiness and quality of life.
Key peninsula-wide transformation efforts include the consolidation of forces into two enduring hubs, the normalization of tours and the transition of wartime operational control.
To better support the alliance, Eighth Army is changing from an Army Service Component Command to a field army, capable of commanding multiple multinational corps-level combat formations.
"We are undergoing the biggest transformation for Eighth Army since the end of the Korean War more than 60 years ago," said Johnson. "By becoming a field army, we are returning to our Korean War-era roots and evolving to better defend South Korea in concert with our [Republic of Korea] Allies."
As the Republic of Korea-U.S. Alliance transforms, Johnson said that it will continue to deter aggression against South Korea and maintain stability throughout Northeast Asia.
"Our commitment to this alliance is rock solid, as it has been for 60 years," said Johnson. "Freedom prevails, where the Soldiers of Eighth Army's boots stand. We are witnesses to this proven legacy and sentinels to its endurance in the future."