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U.S. air cavalry squadron begins service in S. Korea

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

By Kim Eun-jung

SEOUL, Sept. 26 (Yonhap) -- A U.S. Army attack reconnaissance squadron has returned to South Korea after missions in Iraq to bolster defense on the peninsula as part of Washington's rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. Forces Korea said Thursday.

The main body of the 4th Squadron, the 6th Cavalry Regiment, on Wednesday arrived at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the U.S. state of Washington, the U.S. Second Infantry Division said in a statement.

The unit, which would be the first U.S. rotational land forces in Korea, has 380 members with 30 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters.

"The Attack Reconnaissance Squadron is a rotational force that is part of the Army's strategy to get regionally aligned rotational forces," said Col. Walter T. Rugen, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade commander. "They are bringing a great scout, security and reconnaissance capabilities in addition to a fires capability that is tremendous."

The troops, which were deployed to Iraq in 2008, will carry out reconnaissance, security and attack missions to support South Korean and U.S. forces for nine months.

The deployment is part of planned enhancements to American forces in South Korea and demonstrates the Pentagon's commitment to rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, the USFK said.

About 28,500 American service members are stationed in South Korea.

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