Thousands of Fort Hood soldiers are getting ready to deploy to Korea.

The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, will replace the division’s 2nd “Black Jack” Brigade in the Republic of Korea next year, the Department of the Army announced Monday.

About 4,500 soldiers from the 1st “Ironhorse” Brigade will deploy to Korea sometime between mid-January and early February 2016, as part of a regular rotation of forces in support of U.S. Forces Korea.

Maj. Gen. Michael Bills, 1st Cavalry Division commander, said the brigade “is prepared to execute its assigned mission to Korea.”

“Our next focus, and where we get great support from our Central Texas community partners, is taking care of our families,” Bills said.

The brigade’s commander, Col. John P. DiGiambattista, said Ironhorse soldiers have been preparing for the mission to Korea for several months.

“The Ironhorse Brigade has a proud history of answering our nation’s call, redeploying from the Baltics and Poland in December 2014 as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

“The brigade has been preparing for the Korea mission since spring and recently completed a rigorous training cycle with a rotation to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. We are trained and ready to perform our mission,” DiGiambattista said.

The recent NTC rotation gave 1st Brigade soldiers “the chance to test and improve our skills in a challenging and realistic training environment,” DiGiambattista said.

The Korea rotation, part of the Army Force Generation rotational plan, began in February 2014 with back-to-back nine-month rotations by the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment and the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment.

Black Jack, the first brigade-sized unit in the rotation, deployed to Korea with more than 4,000 soldiers in late May, and recently reached the halfway point in the deployment.

Contact JC Jones at jcjones@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7464​

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