A crew with 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, maneuvers a M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle during a training exercise July 13, 2014, at Fort Hood, Texas. The 3-8th Cavalry Regt. will conduct a nine-month rotational deployment to South Korea as part of U.S. enduring re-balancing efforts in the Asia-Pacific region. The unit will replace 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, which is currently deployed to South Korea. (Staff Sgt. Chuck Burden, 3rd Brigade Combat Team P)
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About 800 soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division will deploy to South Korea in October as part of a rotational force that will serve with tanks and Bradleys near the North Korea border.
The soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment will be stationed at Camps Hovey and Stanley near the Demilitarized Zone, the Army announced Tuesday.
The soldiers, part of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, will replace troops from 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, who have been deployed to Korea since February.
The 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry also belongs to 3rd BCT, 1st Cavalry at Fort Hood, Texas.
The deploying soldiers are expected to serve a nine-month tour.
While deployed, the soldiers, like those from 1st Battalion, will conduct operations in support of U.S. Forces Korea and Eighth Army.
The soldiers will fall in on the equipment — including M1A2 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles — that was brought to South Korea by 1st Battalion, which was the first unit to deploy as part of this new rotational force.
Deploying whole units to Korea on a rotational basis is a relatively new practice for the Army, which has typically deployed soldiers there individually.
The service has been studying a plan to rotate units in and out of South Korea, which officials have said will result in formations that are more ready and trained to higher levels.
Such a commitment would mark a significant change to the way the Army has done business for years, and the practice would increase the readiness of units stationed in one of the most volatile parts of the world.
The Army has about 19,000 soldiers stationed in South Korea, including the 2nd Infantry Division headquarters and the division's 1st Brigade Combat Team. Other major units include the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, the 1st Signal Brigade, the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, the 65th Medical Brigade, the 501st Military Intelligence Brigade and Eighth Army.