CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea (Aug. 26, 2012) -- During his recent visit to Korea, the Secretary of the Army toured the post's newly built quarters for unaccompanied senior Soldiers and family quarters and he met with the senior officers and noncommissioned officers in on the peninsula.

"As I walk around the new facilities, here at Humphreys, I want (Soldiers) to know that we are spending a lot of resources creating the best facilities possible for them and their families," said Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh.

McHugh explained that creating the infrastructure for the reorganization of Army forces in Korea is an absolutely critical part of the new national strategic posture that focuses on the Pacific region.

"Eighth Army has been asked to reshape and take on new missions that are more in line with the challenges we face today and in the future," said McHugh. "General J.D. Johnson in concert with General J.D. Thurman are working hard to ensure that we have both the facilities as well as the force structure to take on those new challenges."

One of the challenges Eighth Army faces is with its new mission set is readiness. McHugh said he has discussed the issue with the Army Chief of Staff and he is in full support of Gen. Raymond Odierno's initiatives, which will reduce the one-year tour churn and increase overall readiness in Korea. Resolving the issue he feels is a prime consideration as we move toward the transfer of operational control over to the Republic of Korea in 2015.

McHugh said our partnership with the Republic of Korea and its armed forces is essential to ensure that we can continue to bring peace and stability to both the peninsula and in fact throughout the entire region.

The secretary went on to say that sees the Army as playing a key role in the new strategic guidance, refocusing efforts on the Pacific.

"We think the Army is absolutely critical to any strategy that focuses on the Pacific," said McHugh.