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2nd Infantry Division
ROK-U.S. Combined Division
"Second to None" / "Warrior Division" /
"Indianhead Division"

For more than 60 years, the Soldiers of the US 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with ROK allies. In 2016, that enduring commitment was taken one step further through the transformation of 2ID into a Combined ROK-US Division. This new organization integrated over 40 ROK Army officers into the 2ID headquarters, fostering mutual trust, combined decision-making, and open communications. In addition, a ROK Army mechanized brigade would habitually train with the Combined Divisions units to develop shared capabilities. If conflict comes to the Peninsula, this brigade would be under the operational control of the Combined Division to create a seamless capability.

The 2nd Infantry Division, as of 2009, was one of the most forward deployed, lethal and combat ready division in the US Army. The 2nd Infantry Division's mission was to deter war. Should deterrence fail, the soldiers of the Warrior Division would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their Korean allies, ready to defend "freedom's frontier." The 2nd Infantry Division was the major US ground combat unit in Korea. The Division's headquarters was located at Camp Red Cloud, Uijongbu, and its primary mission is to deter war on the Korean peninsula by maintaining a high state of combat readiness and vigilance. It remained in this role despite a progressive drawing down of US forces in Korea beginning in the 1990s.

The commander of the US 2nd Infantry Division was a major general (2-star). In April 1990, the United States Department of Defense announced a program to shift gradually the United States military presence in South Korea to a smaller and more supportive role as international political conditions and strengthened South Korean defense capabilities permitted. As part of this program, the United States and South Korea agreed to disband the United States- Republic of Korea Combined Field Army.

The 2nd Infantry Division retained a unique force structure and fighting capability not found anywhere else in the US Army or on the Korean peninsula. By the end of the 20th Century the Warrior Division possessed more combat power than any other division within the coalition forces. In the 1990s, the 2nd Infantry Division was a robust, combined arms team that contained armor, mechanized infantry, air assault infantry and combat aviation units. The 1st and 2nd Brigades were the maneuver brigades, and had a total of 2 M1A1 Abrams tank battalions, 2 mechanized infantry battalions (equipped with the Bradley fighting vehicle) and 2 air assault infantry battalions. Other major commands were the Aviation Brigade, the Division Artillery, the Engineer Brigade, and the Division Support Command. The Division Artillery (DIVARTY) was the largest in the Army and containd more Multiple-Launched Rocket Systems (MLRS) than any other DIVARTY. The Division boasted top quality soldiers and leaders, both American and Korean, who were equipped with the best equipment in the world to include the M1A1 Abrams tank, the M2/3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the AH-64 Apache helicopter and the MLRS.

During the 1990s, the 15,000 Warriors of the 2nd Infantry Division had been spread across 17 different installations throughout the northwestern quadrant of South Korea. The headquarters was located at Camp Red Cloud in the city of Uijongbu. The bulk of the troops were stationed at Camps Casey and Hovey near Tongduchun. The remaining 14 camps had smaller concentrations of combat and support units. "In front of them all" stood the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, located north of Freedom Bridge and the Imjin River, a scant 2 kilometers from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

The Warrior Division faced a real threat. One of the largest armies in the world sat just across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The major fighting stopped in 1953, but the Korean War never officially ended. Being combat ready meant many things: excellent training, leadership, equipment and professional support. Warrior division leaders brought all these things together in a training program that was well-planned, tough, and realistic.

Computer simulation played a large role in leader and battle staff training. The Division periodically conducted a 5-day Warfighter exercise at Camp Casey and Camp Hovey. Contributing to the Division's combat readiness and its ability to team with its Korean allies were the division's Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA) soldiers. More than 2,000 KATUSA soldiers were fully integrated into the Division's force structure. They serve as tank crew members, artillerymen, administrative specialists and cooks.

In the 1990s the Division began a major construction and renovation campaign designed to improve the quality of life of Soldiers. By the end of FY99, more than 30 new barracks construction projects were completed. New recreational and dining facilities, such as the Borderline Cafe and brigade "Super Dayrooms" had been built to provide soldiers a better living environment. An air assault training facility, located between Camps Casey and Hovey, trained and graduated more than 80 new air assault qualified Warriors. The school was the first of its kind built and run overseas.

Tough training kept warriors busy during their stay, but there was more to a tour in the 2nd Infantry Division than the mission. Quality of life had been, and was expected to remain, a priority in the Warrior Division. Many new barracks facilities had been constructed by the turn of the century, and construction continued thereafter. New clubs had been built, and many existing facilities completely renovated. The Army and Air Force Exchange System and commercial fast food restaurants opened the door to more dining choices. The information superhighway also came to freedom's frontier: cable Television installation was installed, and Internet access for soldiers came with the equipment to take advantage of it. Soldiers continued their education, often using the creative and flexible programs designed to work around a Warrior's schedule.

There was much to learn outside the classroom and the gate. During a one-year tour in Korea, soldiers got an opportunity to enjoy a country with a rich and diverse culture and a unique geography. Ancient traditions continued to flourish in a nation that had rapidly become a modern industrial and economic power. Soldiers took advantage of regularly scheduled tours to local attractions, such as the Folk Village in Suwon, Mount Sorak, the DMZ, Buddhist temples, and many famous shopping areas. Those who took an interest in their surroundings found their tours much more satisfying. Despite the fact that virtually all the Division's 13,000 soldiers served one-year, unaccompanied tours, families were also part of the 2nd Infantry Division. During the 1990s about 3,000 family members chose to live in Korea while their warriors served there.

The 2nd Infantry Division was located in a non-command sponsored area. Soldiers were discouraged from bringing their family members to this area. The 2nd Infantry Division was a wartime mission oriented Division and soldiers spend the majority of their tour in the field. Those soldiers that brought their family members to the area were expected to live within earshot of the alert siren. That alone limited the areas and the type of quarters that were available. While there were some very nice apartment complexes in Area I, they were usually located some distance from the installations and the rent was extremely expensive. The soldiers that brought their families normally resided in local houses that had been converted into small (extremely small) rooms and what might be termed efficiency apartments. It was not uncommon to find that toilet, water, and other utilities were shared.

2nd Infantry Division's organic 3rd brigade, located at Fort Lewis, Washington, was reorganized as an Interim Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) in 2000. During this transition, the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Riley, Kansas was the CONUS-based reinforcing Brigade for the Division, and was similar in design to the 2nd Infantry Division's Armor-heavy 1st Brigade. The Stryker, an RDF unit, replaced the former 2nd Brigade brigade that was withdrawn from Korea in 1992.

The 2nd Infantry Division of the year 2009 scarcely resembled that of the year 2001. In the year 2001, the Division consisted of 3 maneuver Brigades, to include 2 heavy Brigades in South Korea and one Stryker Brigade at Fort Lewis, Washington. By 2009, the Division had reorganized to include 4 maneuver brigades, 3 of them equipped as Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, and all 3 of those brigades stationed in the United States at Fort Lewis. The split nature of the 2nd Infantry Division meant that the transformation to the modular force structure had not resulted in the structure common to other active divisions. Its Division Artillery (DIVARTY) and Division Support Command (DISCOM) had been ianctivated, with many of these assets made organic to the new Brigade Combat Teams. However, 210th Fires Brigade, the replacement for the DIVARTY was deployed with the sole remaining element of the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, while the Division had not organized a division level Sustainment Brigade. Its Combat Aviation Brigade was an enhanced formation as well, serving in Korea in the traditional role of support to the 2nd Infantry Division. It also replaced aviation assets previously assigned directly to Eighth US Army. The precense of US forces in Korea as a whole had declined during the period, with more than a dozen US military facilities in the country returned to the ownership of the South Korean authorities.

In order to increase the effectiveness and readiness of US Forces on the Peninsula, USFK rotates specifically selected unit capabilities instead of maintaining permanently stationed units with Service Members on individual one-year tours. Fully manned, trained, and mission-ready rotational forces also provide the Alliance elevated capabilities over time by introducing a greater number of the U.S. Service Members to the unique aspects of contingency operations in Korea.

In the summer of 2015, the U.S. Army began rotating Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) into the Republic of Korea for the first time, on nine-month tours as the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT) of the 1st Cavalry Division arrived from Fort Hood, Texas. Just two months after the unit arrived, the BCT was able to integrate with the ROK Army to conduct a combined and joint exercise.

2IDs Combat Aviation Brigade has also increased its capabilities through the rotation of Aerial Reconnaissance Squadrons and the Counter Fire Task Force expanded it combat power by adding a rotational Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) battalion.

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Page last modified: 13-10-2016 19:40:55 ZULU