Off the coast of the Korean peninsula, the U.S. Navy serves as an immense show of force in the face of North Korean aggression, but they’re not the only U.S. forces in the region that Kim Jong Un should be worried about. America’s 8th Army has a history of service in the Pacific dating back to 1944, and its commanding general, Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal, wants to make it clear that his troops are ready for a fight should North Korea want to bring them one.
At a symposium last month, Vandal offered a number of reassurances to the United States and South Korean people, explaining that his command is not just about training with our international counterparts in the region, it’s about winning wars. His unit, he explained, is unlike any other an enemy like North Korea has faced before, as his troops aren’t just training alongside their South Korean counterparts, they are rapidly working to integrate forces in the area to create a streamlined layer of command and control while improving cooperation at the ground level.
Lt. Gen. Vandal’s command grants him authority of the Army’s only major combined fighting force: the 2nd Infantry Division/Republic of Korea-U.S. Combined Division, or RUCD.
“Today, hand-picked, [South Korean] officers, the best of the best, are an integral part of the staff,” he said. “Now, we’re adding [South Korean] staff noncommissioned officers as well.”