304th ESB breaks in new home
PYEONGTAEK, SOUTH KOREA -- Camp Humphreys is home to over 7,000 Soldiers and will soon serve as the largest U.S. installation on the Korean peninsula. It is currently going through vast expansion and construction to accommodate the relocation of U.S. forces currently stationed north of the Han River. The relocation is driven by the U.S./South Korean agreement under the Land Partnership Program.
The first battalion sized unit to relocate under this agreement was the 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion. The 304th wasted no time settling into its new home as it recently completed its first full Field Training Exercise.
"There's a lot more space here, we don't have to travel very far to get to the field anymore," said Lt. Col. Mark S. Parker, commander of the 304th. "I envisioned an annual training event that would be fun yet challenging, I'm glad that we are able to accomplish that here."
The FTX began with a 3.8 mile foot march to the training area. The Soldiers then trained on several key warrior tasks including site defense, counter improvised explosion device measures, small arms attacks, first aid, humvee rollover drills, and chemical defense training.
"The 304th E.S.B. F.T.X. was an exhilarating, heart pumping experience," said Pfc. Kevin Herbert, a transmissions systems operator/maintainer with C company, 304th. "We bonded by teamwork, and brotherhood, to get us mission ready and in the fight."
The training was focused to help prepare the 304th for contingency operations and the large-scale joint exercise Ulchi-Freedom Guardian. The battalion's primary mission is to deploy and provide tactical communications support anywhere in the Pacific region on short notice. The subordinate units cycled through the training one company at a time to ensure that the 304th could respond to a real world mission if called upon.
"Can you really expect anything less from the battalion that is 'Ready, Always Ready,'" exclaimed an enthusiastic and prideful Herbert.