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US Forces Order of Battle

The Nixon Doctrine stated that Asian nations should not depend on the US for their security but should strengthen own defense capabilities. After Vietnam, the Nixon Doctrine reflected a desire to reduce American commitments to Asia. Accordingly, some 20,000 US troops of the 7th Division were withdrawn from Korea by March 1971.

President Carter's agenda was to reduce US troop levels in Korea and press Mr. Park to improve his human-rights practices. One of Carter's campaign pledges was that the American forces in Korea would be completely withdrawn in stages over four to five years. Maj. Gen. John K. Singlaub, then Chief of Staff of the Eighth Army, protested against Carter's withdrawal plan. The effort was eventually abandoned in 1979 after only 3,600 troops had been withdrawn.

The US Congress adopted the Nunn-Warner Amendment to the 1989 Defense Appropriation Bill, which mandated a reduction in US troop strength in Korea from 43,000 to 36,000 by the end of calendar year 1991. In early 1990 the Bush Administration announced plans to cut 7,000 of the 42,500 US troops in Korea over 2 1/2 years. At that time the US had 11,600 Air Force personnel and 31,600 Army personnel in Korea. ground troops. As a result, the 2nd Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade was withdrawn from Korea in 1992 and deactivated.

The United States announced plans in May 2004 to shift 3,600 troops from South Korea to Iraq, the first time the United States had reduced its armed forces in South Korea since the end of the Cold War. On 07 June 2004 a US delegation, led by Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Lawless, met with South Korean officials and reportedly proposed withdrawing up to one-third of the 37,000 US troops in South Korea. The two-day talks also covered plans to move about 7,000 US troops from their bases near the border with North Korea to a new military camp well south of Seoul.

On 06 October 2004 the Department of Defense announced that after several months of close consultations, the United States and the Republic of Korea had reached final agreement regarding the June 2004 US proposal to redeploy 12,500 US troops from Korea.

  • The first phase was conducted in 2004 and included the 2nd Brigade Combat Team that was sent to Iraq in August 2004, and associated units. The redeployment in 2004 totaled about 5,000 troops.
  • During the second phase, 2005-2006, the United States will redeploy a total of 5,000 troops (3,000 in 2005, 2,000 in 2006), comprising combat units, combat support and combat service support units, units associated with mission transfer areas, and other support personnel.
  • In the third and final phase, 2007-2008, the United States will redeploy 2,500 troops consisting primarily of support units and personnel.
StageYearPersonnel decreased Personnel stationed
1st20045,00032,500
2nd2005~20065,00027,500
3rd2007~20082,50025,000

US Forces Korea

Even prior to September 11, 2001, the amount of publicly available information concerning aircraft types and specific units at particular locations. The presence of significant numbers of civilian contractor personnel and of military families at various facilities in the region further complicates accounting for total personnel numbers.

Prior to 2004 there were normally about 37,500 military personnel stationed in the USFK area of responsibility, including about 225 aircraft of all types. The number of troops deployed in the area does not normally fluctuate. With the 2nd Brigade Combat Team going to Iraq in August 2004, the total number of troops declined by 5,000, to a total of 32,500 military personnel.

Beginning on 21 March 2004 there were an additional 8,500 military personnel in the AOR as part of RSOI/FE 2004. Those personnel departed the region by April 2004.

Ground forces included a variety of units that were normally deployed in the region. Forces in the region include Patriot missile batteries, Apache helicopter squadrons, a mechanized infantry brigade, an air assault brigade, various support, intelligence and other units. Prior to 2004 the total Army presence in the region was nearly 27,500 soldiers, of which 13,753 were assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division. However, it is important to point out that the Department of Defense indicated during a briefing on July 23, 2003 that the United States Army had some 4,000 additional soldiers in South Korea than what had been previously disclosed by the military. It was not clear is this is a mistake or not. If true, this would have brought the total number of soldiers in South Korea to 31,460. In any event, with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team going to Iraq in August 2004, the total number of troops declined by 5,000, to a total of 22,500 Army soldiers.

The Air Force had two wings located in the USFK region with some 8,300 personnel, operating a total of about 100 aircraft of all types.

US Naval Forces, Korea is particularly small, numbering around 293 sailors and 52 marines. CNFK normally has no seagoing forces assigned, though its personnel are assigned to various joint, combined, and Navy billets throughout the ROK peninsula. These personnel are actively engaged in planning and execution of numerous operations and exercises throughout the Korean theater. There is one ship that has been present in the region for over 30 years, that being the USS Pueblo which was captured on 23 January 1968. She is currently located at Pyongyang.

US Non-military individuals in Korea can be divided into two categories, contractors and family members. There are roughly 4,000 contractors and and 11,500 family members in Korea at any given time.

The Korean Augmentation to the United States Army, or KATUSA, program was initiated by GEN Douglas MacArthur in August 1950. Today, KATUSA soldiers are integrated into virtually all Army units in Korea, from squad level up. They live, work and train with their American counterparts. At its peak in 1952, KATUSA strength had reached 27,000. KATUSA strength declined after the 1953 armistice. In July 1971, following the reduction of American troops in Korea, the number of KATUSAs assigned to serve with U.S. Army units stabilized at about 7,000. KATUSAs are usually assigned to a unit for two years -- providing continuity of operations and expertise that might be lost as a result of one-year rotations by US soldiers.

US Forces Japan

U.S. Forces, Japan, with its U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps elements, consisted of approximately 47,000 military personnel, 52,000 dependents, 5,500 DOD civilian employees and 23,500 Japanese workers. There were roughly 350 aircraft from the Air Force, Navy and Marines located in the USFJ AOR.



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