Deploying Differently to Korea

July 24, 2013

The Army Times has a new piece proposing a different deployment scheme for Korea that would have units deploying as a whole for nine months rather than individuals for a year, which is how we do it now.  As I have proposed before, this could work if these rotational forces conducted a tour patrolling the DMZ integrated with Republic of Korea forces during their rotation.  The amount of training required to conduct DMZ patrols would sustain small unit combat readiness and deployment on the DMZ would demonstrate sustained commitment to the alliance, enhance ROK-US interoperability, provide mission focus for the rotational units, and send a powerful message of the strength of the ROK-US Alliance to the north.  If we go to a rotational scheme we really need to put US forces back on the DMZ – and not simply in a US sector but, as I said, integrated with ROK forces throughout the entire DMZ. I would also recommend rotating US Marines with the 6th ROK Marine Brigade in the Northwest Island as well.