Friday, September 5, 2014

US, South Korea to form combined division next year - News - Stripes

US, South Korea to form combined division next year - News - Stripes: The U.S. and South Korea will form a combined division early next year to improve the allies’ warfighting capabilities and create more opportunities for efficient joint training, defense officials said Thursday.

“It is also going to serve as momentum to overcome problems, including sentiment and language, between the U.S. and South Korean troops,” said a spokesman for South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense.

He said the combined division will be headquartered in Uijeongbu and headed by an American commander with a South Korean deputy.

U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti told reporters last November that a combined division was a “strong possibility” and would “be a strong additive to our alliance.”

Few details were released Thursday, though USFK said in a statement that “combined planning at all affected levels of command is ongoing.”

“The aim of the Combined Division is to enhance the combined defense of the ROK (Republic of Korea) and readiness of the Alliance…the initiative is designed to enhance Alliance capabilities for the defense of the ROK,” the statement said.