Again, Mr Herman misses the significance of 2015. It is not the transfer of wartime OPCON (we know that the Military Committee exercises operational control of the ROK/US Combined Forces Command so both Korea and the US have joint operational control over the combined force so the OPCON transfer is really a red herring), it is the dissolution of the ROK/US Combined Forces Command that is going to occur in 2015.
But as an aside, although the article notes that 2ID has been patrolling close to the DMZ since 1965, it would be really good if it were to return to patrolling the actual DMZ.
Along Korea's DMZ, Lone Forward-Deployed US Division Stays Prepared
M1-A2SEP Abrams tanks participating in a platoon qualifying exercise near the DMZ. (Photo: VOA / Steve Herman)
January 28, 2013
POCHEON, SOUTH KOREA — At a time of rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, a quartet of U.S. Army “Abrams” M1-A2SEP tanks rolls onto the frozen ground of the Rodriguez Live Fire Range near the DMZ during one of the coldest days of the winter.
The tanks and their crews, from Dragon Company of the 1st Battalion’s 72nd Armor Regiment (1-72 AR), are a small but lethal component of the U.S. Army's 2nd Infantry Division stationed close to the tense border separating North and South Korea.
The division has the unenviable task of holding off - until reinforcements arrive - a much larger enemy force, should there be an invasion similar to the one that began the Korean War in 1950.
The tankers' advanced qualification exercise (known as a gunnery table XII) not only involves the crews inside the 70-ton 1,500-horsepower vehicles, but 400 other support personnel scattered across the range, including those in an observation tower and a large heated tent that serves as the battalion tactical operations center.
(Continued at the link below)