News: Lt. Gen. Johnson visits ROK 17th ID
Story by Spc. Michael Orton
SEOUL, South Korea - Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, commander of the Eighth Army, met with the commanding general of the Republic of Korea’s 17th Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Song Yoo Jin, today to discuss the division’s participation in the exercise, Key Resolve.
“I’m very proud of how this division has taken their mission on,” Johnson said. “This unit has one of the most important missions for the entire Republic of Korea.”
Song briefed Johnson on the unit’s training, needs and capabilities in regard to Key Resolve, a regularly scheduled annual exercise designed to demonstrate the strength and commitment of the ROK-U.S. alliance.
The exercise, currently underway, concludes March 21, 2013. More than 13,000 service members are participating in the exercise, approximately 3,500 of whom are from U.S. forces.
About 2,500 of the U.S. personnel are from locations other than the Korean peninsula, and include military members from the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy. All ROK military branches of service are represented as well.
The 17th, nicknamed the “Thunder,” is the largest infantry division in the ROK Army. The unit, created on March 20, 1955, as the 33rd Reserve Division, was reorganized as the 17th Infantry Division in 1982. The unit provides the only coastal and riverside security forces in the entire ROK army, and acts not only as a combat division, but as a homeland security division as well.
Johnson told the 17th and their commander that the good work they were putting in during the two-week exercise was being noticed, and with persistent hard work, unrelenting dedication and proper training, they will continue to accomplish great things.
“You’re a part of something very unique and very important,” Johnson said. “The ROK and U.S. armies are extremely capable militaries when operating apart from each other. When we combine, there is no one that comes close to us.”