By Master Sgt. Reeba CritserJanuary 11, 2013
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea (Jan. 11, 2013) -- Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Army chief of staff, and his wife, Linda, visited 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers and their families at Camps Casey and Hovey, Jan. 11, 2013.
This two-day visit to the Korean peninsula allowed the Army's top general to strategize on President Barack Obama's policy to rebalance the U.S. focus to the Asia-Pacific region.
"The [Republic of Korea-U.S.] Alliance has been going on now for over 60 years and the strong relationship with Republic of Korea continues to be and will always be a very important relationship for us," said Odierno at a press conference. "As we shift our strategy in the Pacific, Korea clearly is an important part of that shift."
Odierno said requests for expanding U.S. military presence on the peninsula with additional Apache and infantry battalions is still being discussed in Washington, D.C.
"We discussed the requirement, potentially, for additional support here in Korea," Odierno said at a briefing at Camp Casey in South Korea. "We expect a decision on whether we will provide additional capabilities here very shortly."
In addition to visiting the division Soldiers, Odierno also met with his counterpart in the ROK Army, Gen. Cho Jung Hwan and Gen. James Thurman, commander of U.S. Forces Korea. They discussed how to further build on their military relationship through a continued commitment to multi-lateral training exercises. Odierno hopes through the continued combined exercises, the ROK Army will be able to hold command and control of future exercises and operations.
"I am very confident the Republic of Korea and their army is more than capable of taking over responsibility for their security," said Odierno. "And with them being in the lead will help us to enable them to continue to help them to establish the appropriate command and control structures for them to be able to execute the operational control in 2015."