Sgt. 1st Class Joe Battle
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Headquarters of the 25th Infantry Division started 2012 off by continuing to reset its forces following a yearlong deployment to Iraq.
As the last U.S. division headquarters on the ground in Iraq, 25th ID was directly responsible for the historic mission of overseeing operations needed to facilitate the withdrawal of U.S. forces in compliance with the 2008 Security Agreement, which called for the withdrawal all U.S. combat troops by the end of 2011.
In mid-2012, the division welcomed home the 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat teams from yearlong deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively. As the division closed out 2012 and heads into 2013, it welcomes home the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade from a yearlong deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The 25th ID bid farewell to a seasoned leader and welcomed in a new commanding general in 2012; Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux passed the Tropic Lightning colors and relinquished command to Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller during a change of command ceremony, April 5.
Champoux went on to serve as the assistant chief of staff of the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces Korea, and deputy commanding general of 8th U.S. Army in Korea. Under Fuller’s command, the Tropic Lightning Division headquarters continued into the year by participating in multiple international exercises, including Yama Sakura, the first non-deployment-related exercise involving the entire division headquarters since 2003.
The headquarters continues to train for its role in the Pacific Command Response Force; the PCRF is responsible for assisting its international partners within the Pacific area in needed events and deploying aid anywhere in the Pacific within 18 hours.