U.S. Army forces are playing a central role with their sister services and coalition partners in the global war on terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations around the world, and the U.S. Army component of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) is instrumental to the success of the overall effort. As members of a stalwart joint and combined team, the professional, highly motivated soldiers assigned to USFK help preserve peace and stability in Northeast Asia everyday.
Coupled with the other major U.S. service branches and the Republic of Korea's military, the soldiers of the Eighth U.S. Army engage in their real-world, wartime mission every day: to deter renewed aggression on the Korean peninsula and in the region. From full-time intelligence and surveillance to full-scale tactical training that includes a myriad of challenging operations conducted in one of the most demanding environments in the world, soldiers in the Korean Theater demonstrate an enhanced readiness posture that sends a clear message to any would-be adversaries.
Should deterrence fail, the soldiers of USFK, as part of the Republic of Korea-U.S. alliance's Combined Forces Command (CFC), are ready to "fight tonight" to defeat any outside aggression against the Republic of Korea. Furthermore, as part of this outstanding combined team, U.S. soldiers are prepared to destroy any 21st century threat that would undermine the peace, stability and prosperity of the Northeast Asia region.
For the past 51 years, U.S. Army soldiers have been standing guard against the one nation that has remained a continuous peninsular threat and regional menace since the signing of the armistice agreement that suspended the hostilities of the Korean War. In the ensuing half-century, North Korea has done little to shed its image as a heavily armed military state committed to its vision of a unified Korea under communist control. In fact, North Korea now possesses the world's fourth largest Army and by far the largest artillery, submarine and special operations forces. In addition, it has weapons of mass destruction, proliferates weapons and missile technology and engages in illegal drug trafficking and the counterfeiting of U.S. currency. Despite occasional rhetoric to the contrary, North Korea has ceased to be just a regional threat and is a clear danger to the international community.
What this means for the soldiers assigned to USFK is that they have been, and will continue to be, participating in tough, challenging training that demonstrates the unwavering resolve of the overall combined team here in the Republic of Korea. By training hard, training to standard and training to win, USFK soldiers, as part of CFC and one of the greatest alliances in history, ensure the command maintains a state of enhanced readiness that keeps all enemies at bay and preserves the hard fought for and won peace and prosperity that many now enjoy.
For the Eighth U.S. Army, this is nothing new. Inexorably linked to Northeast Asia and the Pacific region for far more than half of the last century, it continues to flawlessly execute its contingency mission on the Korean peninsula just as it has every day for the last 54 years. For the first three years, that mission, as part of an unprecedented coalition effort, was to defeat the North Korean invasion. Victorious in that endeavor, Eighth Army units and soldiers, since the signing of the armistice, continue to play a major role in deterring peninsular and regional aggression.
Moreover, in keeping with the USFK, CFC and U.S. DoD Transformation initiatives, the Eighth Army and its subordinate units are part of the command's "Future of the Alliance" transformation to a faster, more agile and lethal force better capable of responding not only to North Korean aggression, but to that nation's well-documented asymmetrical capabilities and those of the transnational global terrorist network.
Because of this, …