As tensions continue to flare up in North Korea, Fort Hood’s 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, The Black Jack Brigade, is strengthening the U.S. and Republic of Korea Alliance.
Black Jack Commander Colonel Steven J. Adams tells Channel 6 over the last 10 years, North Korea has consistently provoked the U.S. He said it's a strategic decision to be in the Korean peninsula as a capable and lethal force.
Gunnery exercises are important, but it is also about making a positive impact on the community.
“If you look at it from a strategic perspective, we want to enhance the ROK-US alliance,” Adams said. “Part of the way we do that is being good citizens and being good neighbors here in the country.”
Black Jack soldiers may be on the ranges and in the tanks, but troops also took time to volunteer at the House of Love orphanage as a part of the Army’s Boss Program (Better Opportunities for Single Service Members).
“Our soldiers take great pride in conducting various activities whether it’s working with school age kids, orphanages or doing any sort of volunteer, clean up in particular areas,” Adams said.
But the other key part of the mission is to sustain readiness.
In June, Defense Secretary James Mattis called North Korea the most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The fact we have so many forces in this particular region of the world and all that way we do to ensure we are deterring aggression and we’re presenting the force that’s able to fight and win should we have to,” Adams said.
Colonel Adams said the commitment to the alliance with the Republic of Korea is the most critical. Soldiers qualified stateside but they continue to get ready, in keeping with the motto "Fight Tonight".
He said there are a lot of young soldiers in his formation. They trained at the Rodriguez Live Fire Training Complex and California Range on tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and with mortars and machine guns.
Adams calls his armored brigade heavy hitters showing commitment to South Korea.
North Korea continues to make international headlines as the United Nations just added new sanctions against the country.