Eighth Army commander visits Manchus in field
RODRIGUEZ LIVE FIRE COMPLEX, South Korea -- The U.S. Army's top operational commander in South Korea visited the storied 2-9th Infantry Manchus here Nov. 29.
Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson and Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney Harris flew up to this live fire training range to watch the Manchus from the 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry (Mechanized), 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division conduct a Bradley Fighting Vehicle live fire exercise.
Commanded by Lt. Col. Shawn Creamer, the 2-9th Infantry is a combined arms battalion that brings together the mobility and might of Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Abrahams Main Battle Tanks. The 2-9th Infantry earned its honorary Manchu title during the Boxer Rebellion.
From the range control tower, Johnson watched a Bradley crew punch 25mm holes through their mobile targets.
The Eighth Army commanding general and command sergeant major then met with 2-9th Infantry troops in their Tactical Operations Center and at their After Action Review briefing.
As the leader of the U.S. Army's premier armored formation in the Asia Pacific region, Johnson regularly visits troops around the Korean Peninsula.
"It's my job to provide them with the resources they need and that's why I like to come out here to pointy end of the spear to see how they are doing," said Johnson.
Johnson thanked the Manchus for their focus on readiness and praised them for the combined training exercises they regularly conduct with their Republic of Korea Army allies.
According to Johnson, maintaining a culture of readiness is the key to deterrence and that is why Eighth Army places such a high premium on conducting tough and realistic training.
"The 2-9th Infantry is doing all the things that America and Eighth Army need them to do to maintain our mission here," said Johnson.