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NEWS | May 14, 2024

Eighth Army senior leaders discuss building readiness across the Pacific

By Staff Sgt. Joel Salgado 8th Army

Eighth Army and 2nd Infantry Division, ROK/U.S. Combined Division, senior leaders gave presentations and remarks at the commander’s corner event during the Association of the United States Army Land Forces Pacific Symposium held at the Sheraton Waikiki, here, May 15, 2024.

LANPAC is an international symposium and exhibition dedicated to land forces in the Indo-Pacific. The three-day event is May 14-16 and features a variety of discussions, briefings, emerging technologies and opportunities for attendees to discuss security interoperability throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

The topic for Eighth Army during this year’s event focuses on Eighth Army building readiness in the Pacific and showcase the unique opportunities Eighth Army has for meeting that goal.

During the presentation, Lt. Gen. Christopher LaNeve, Eighth Army commanding general, Command Sgt. Maj. Robin Bolmer, Eighth Army senior enlisted advisor, Maj. Gen. William Taylor, commander of 2nd RUCD, and Command Sgt. Maj Kenneth Franco, senior enlisted advisor for 2nd RUCD, spoke to attendees on the key points of building cooperation with their partner forces in South Korea and throughout the region to ensure readiness and cooperation with long-standing allies and partners.

LaNeve focused on ensuring forces under his command were ready to “fight tonight” by conducting rigorous, realistic training with ROK forces and regional allies and provided attendees with a framework for building that capability within Eighth Army.

“I’ve always had competing priorities and for the first time in a long time it’s real easy, my bosses have made it very clear, I’ve got to be ready tonight at a moment’s notice,” said LaNeve. “The mission is clear and we have an incredible partner to do this with. To make both of our nations stronger, but let me be clear, we made the video we just showed very purposely. We saw two major metropolitan areas, one on the Korean peninsula with our partners and one New York city. We’re not just defending one homeland were defending both homelands and we have to be able to do that at a moment’s notice.”

Bolmer discussed the need for readiness within the force to ensure that the Soldiers, Families and Civilians assigned to Eighth Army are able to respond to any possibility.

“We have a saying in Korea, a slogan called “fight tonight” and literally that’s what our Soldiers have to be able to do,” Bolmer said. “At a moment’s notice they have to be able to do their mission and defend both homelands.”

Taylor spoke to attendees on the unique capabilities of the 2nd RUCD as the only fully combined division within the U.S. Army and how it helps to highlight opportunities for other military forces to build integration with partners and allies.

“What’s incredibly strong is the combined division, I have the opportunity each day to walk into a division headquarters where I have over 100 ROK officers and NCOs and for my other division commanders here that is one of the secrets that I have as a combined division,” said Taylor. “They aren’t just there to look and learn, but they are actual members of my staff.”

The Eighth Army presentation at LANPAC will be followed over the next days of the conference by several additional senior leaders discussing their unique capabilities within their organizations that would lead to better interoperability and cooperation throughout the Indo-Pacific, which will further strengthen the long-standing commitment of regional allies and partners to maintain a ready force to meet the needs of the region.