Tuesday, December 21, 2010

U.S. Forces Korea To Receive New Combat Vehicles

SEOUL - The 2nd Infantry Division of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) is receiving new M1A2 Abram tanks and upgraded M2A2 Bradley fighting vehicles over the next five months, the 8th U.S. Army here announced Dec. 21.
The up-to-date vehicles will arrive in the division north of Seoul between December and May to replace the current fleet of the division's combat vehicles, it said in a news release. The division now operates M1A1 tanks and older M2A2 vehicles.
"The new vehicles are an upgrade to the current fleet of 2nd I.D.'s combat vehicles in South Korea," the release said. "The new vehicles are fitted with improved tracking systems, fire control systems, and improved armor that better equips the 2nd Infantry Division for the battlefield of the 21st century."
While the deployment of new vehicles is not an increase in the number of U.S. combat vehicles on the Korean Peninsula, it is a significant increase in combat capability, Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, commander of the 8th Army, was quoted as saying.
"Our soldiers will be equipped with the most advanced tank in the world," said the three-star general, who concurrently serves as deputy chief of staff of USFK. "We owe it to our soldiers to provide them with the best equipment available."
The replacement of combat vehicles is a "routine force modernization process" for the U.S Army, according to the release. The older vehicles will be shipped back to the United States to be refurbished.
"This is part of the Army's modernization plan," Johnson said. "It will keep our forces at the highest level of readiness."
"It is also a key indicator of the importance our Army places on troops here in Korea," he added.
About 28,000 American troops are stationed in South Korea as a deterrent against North Korea in pursuit of nuclear weapons.

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