The USFK and the ROK army has agreed to form a joint division by next year, 2015. This join division will essentially be the current U.S. 2nd Infantry Division, plus one brigade sized Korean unit. The division will be commanded by an American two star general and will have a one star Korean deputy general.
(Photo from Yonhap)
Apparently, this division won’t be officially formed until wartime. The 2nd ID would function and administer itself normally. However, a Korean brigade sized mechanized infantry unit (heavy on armored personnel carriers and tanks) will be stationed along side the 2nd ID at Camp Humphreys in Pyongtaek (which itself is scheduled to be completed in 2017). If there’s a war or an emergency situation (i.e. North Korea collapses) then the two units will officially combine.
What does this all mean? Well, all the sources I’m reading indicates that it will mean the 2nd ID’s 1st Brigade and 2nd Aviation Combat Brigade (both stationed in Korea) will have a consistent Korean brigade sized unit to train and exercise with. Additionally, the division will be separate from the Combined Theater Command, i.e. the apparent structure where command of forces in Korea will be transferred to ROK control.
I wonder what this means for the other two combat brigades of the 2nd ID, the 2nd and 3rd Combat Brigades (Stryker), stationed in Ft. Lewis, Washington? Too early to tell, but the Korean mechanized brigade technically makes one of them redundant.
An American division being augmented by a foreign brigade. Has this ever happened before? Even in NATO?
An American infantry division is about 17-21k men.
A mechanized brigade is about 3,000 to 4,000 men.