Strykers from Fort Cavazos will deploy to South Korea in 2024

by Tommy Grant

A Stryker-outfitted cavalry regiment from Fort Cavazos, Texas, will deploy to South Korea in the early months of 2024, according to an Army release.

The 3rd Cavalry Regiment, part of the 1st Cavalry Division, is slated for a “winter deployment” to replace the 4th Infantry Division’s 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team on the peninsula. The “Brave Rifles,” as the regiment is known, will likely spend nine months in South Korea as part of their routine rotation, barring unforeseen events.

The cavalry regiment last deployed in 2018-19 to the Middle East as part of Operation Inherent Resolve and the war against ISIS. Around 60 of its troopers earned combat badges there, mostly from enemy indirect fire and improvised explosive devices.

The outgoing brigade, headquartered at Fort Carson, Colorado, was the second Stryker-organized unit to rotate to the peninsula since the service stopped sending armor brigades there. Leaders made the decision in summer 2022 largely because of the sharply increased demand for U.S. tank units in Europe in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine early that year. The higher need for armor units threatened significant strain on an already stretched-thin tank force — a problem slightly eased (but not resolved) by sending Strykers to the Korean peninsula.

The service now maintains a brigade’s worth of M1 Abrams tanks on the peninsula as a prepositioned stock, so a brigade can rapidly deploy from the U.S. and fall in on them should a conflict begin.

Davis Winkie covers the Army for Military Times. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill, and served five years in the Army Guard. His investigations earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2023 Sunshine Award and consecutive Military Reporters and Editors honors, among others. Davis was also a 2022 Livingston Awards finalist.

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