Stars and Stripes reported yesterday that one out of the three combat battalions of the First Brigade of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division will be disbanded in line with the currently on-going forces repositioning process.
According to the article, an official of the U.S. Eighth Army said, With the transition of the First Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division into a heavily armed Brigade Combat Team (BCT), one out of the three battalions will be disbanded like other Army BCTs.
Currently, the First Brigade comprises three battalions, including the 72nd Armored Regiment that comprises the First and Second Battalions, which possess the U.S. Forces Koreas (USFK) main battle tank, the M1 Abrams, and the 9th Infantry Regiments Second Battalion. According to Stars and Stripes, it is expected that the Second Battalion of the 72nd Armored Regiment will be disbanded and the majority of the M1 Abrams will be transferred to the mainland United States.
According to the U.S. Army and an Internet site specializing on military, the number of the Eighth Armys M1 Abrams tanks in Korea will be reduced from 140 to 55 due to this measure.
In addition, Stars and Stripes reported that some support units, including information battalion and division support command units, are to be included in the dismantlement, and that the officers and soldiers of the to-be disbanded units will be transferred to 2nd Infantry Division command and the First BCT.
A U.S. military official said, According to the USFKs repositioning plan that was agreed upon between Korea and the U.S. last year, the Korean government is being notified of the dismantlement process. Since the future style of the First BCT can conduct various missions by itself, it will possess stronger capabilities than the existing brigade.