A Brief Description of US Army Forces China and US Army Force Korea.
By 2025 the bulk of forward deployed Army units were stationed in China, Korea with attendant reserves in Hawaii and Japan. At the height of the first phase of the US commitment to China in 2015 more than 10 division equivalent had been deployed there. In the ten subsequent years the force has shrunk down to one full division (4th Infantry) Defending Beijing, to Forward Divisions command (1st Armoured and 25th Infantry) stationed in Shanghai without real troops assigned and to full divisions in South Korea, (2nd Infantry and 1st CAV) watching the new DMZ. Usually one or two brigades were deployed in rotation to Shanghai to provide some show of force. By December 2024 the USAFC was at its minimum levels, with the talks of withdrawing two of the BCT (Brigade Combat Team) from Beijing and the two Forward Division Command post from Shanghai. In a duel of wills and wits between State (advocating withdrawal of the entire USAFC) and Defense (asking for deploying at the least the components of the 1st Armoured and 25th Infantry) the SECDEF was able to have a brigade of the 25th and a National Guard Brigade sent to China in January. Increased instability and a scandal damaging the reputation of the entire State Department Mission in china (their director of operations had been caught using State and Defense channels to smuggle archaeological artefacts and people from China) strengthened the hand of Defense allowing the SecDef to win presidential authorization to deploy a an additional brigade from Hawaii to China. Further embarrassing revelations on the extent of the crappiness of the State Department China team, including discovering the Head of the Mission, Ambassador Laureen Carleton being in cahoots with a planned Russian-backed group of plotters in shanghai, further allowed the deployment of an additional brigade of the 25th to China. A series of sharp attacks along the corridor linking the Yangtze River Basin and Beijing involving regular Russian troops in March and April 2025 further deteriorated the situation until the 1st Armoured division was finally put on alert for deployment overseas. When the Russian launched their Operation Spring Dawn in early June 2025 The USAFC were in a better position than six months before but still woefully unprepared.
Years of lack of a real strategic direction in ground warfare coupled with internal battles between the COINistas and Conventionalist factions inside the Army had crippled what in 1991 was the best army of the world. In the name of rapid deployment the Army is relying on Stryker brigade of proven combat incapability. Despite their disastrous performance during the 2015 China War and its associated Second Korean War the Striker had been retained as the main combat vehicle of the Army. The failure of producing and M1A4 program after the China War had further reduced the importance of the ‘legacy’ component, despite troops having nicknames the Stryker the ‘Crappier’ during the last war. The disastrous performance of the 2nd ID Stryker brigades in Korea and the virtual destruction of the 25th Infantry against soviet armoured forces had done nothing to redress the balance. Until 2023 the Army was under the direction of General John B. Kramer, a convinced Naglite and COINistas who was virtually opposed to the maintenance of the China Mission. Kramer command style, purging officers that did not share its own idea had further decreased the confidence of the US Army. In 2023 the appointment of General Robert K. Leonard, a form tank officer had gone a long way to redress some of the morale and efficiency problems, but not the equipment imbalance. The Army is still short of heavy divisions. General Leonard had also been a staunch supporter of the necessity of finding a complete solution to China, kicking the Russians out before removing US and Allied Forces. This has put him at odds with the official administration policy to find a way out as soon as possible. He had also lobbied, with varying degree of success, in the congress to increase support for the army and the necessity to keep a strong US gournd foce in China as balance to other factions. Privatley he had admitted that, barring a change of policy, the multination force is exercising a negative impact on China, fostering international enclaves, restraining the rearmament of the PLA, and being military inefficient.
At lower level the troops in china are a mixed bag. The 4th ID is one of the top formation of the Army, and, being deploying in direct contact with Russian forces, being kept at high readiness. The unit deployed in southern China tend to be of uneven if indifferent quality. Troops are noted for poor relationship with other national contingent and, being rotated in and out as complete units to not have any idea of what the local conditions are. While the units have proved themselves able to carry out garrison duties and small security operations there is no evidence they are up to date in conventional operations. On the other hand, when General Church, the new commander of the re-activated 6th US Army China (6th USAC) in March 2025 training had stepped up, as unit readiness and overall effectiveness. Still the troops are worried about their own equipment and lightness.
Stop with the fluff… go with the pictures. Here are some of my 28mm US Army forces that have been earmarked for the project. I have decided to keep them in ACU rather than Multicam. Why? Oh well… I already painted them, the basic idea at the time (and if Empress put out also Koreans) was t use them for the 1-9 Manchus in Korea (you can see the Indianhead patches) and also for the Stryker units of the 2nd ID deployed in Iraq. From pictures the 2nd ID seems to have kept the ACU. Furthermore they are also to be used in Iraq and Afghanistan historical scenarios. I will not repaint them. The miniatures are Empress (of course). The colours of the infantry varies according to the pictures… but not in the reality…More on that later.
The infantry was supposed to be followed by my M1A2 and mt two M2A2s but I cannot find the pictures so I have just the latest Hummer from Imprint I painted. It is armed with a Mk19 AGL to provide some fire support during convoy escorts.
Final Notes on taking pictures of miniatures.
Well for one I have some thoughts about photographing my babies. Using washes leaves a little invisible dust over the paint. You do not see it until you fire the flash. The flash has also spoiled the windows’ effect. Well it is embarrassing to get these stuff 3 weeks after you took the pictures and when you realize the subjects are around 1100km from you… I am lazy, if I had downloaded the pictures earlier I would have discovered how crappy they were and taken some new ones, plus I would have done a bit better job at Salute. Hall hail the crappy photographer. I am embarrassed but these are the pictures I have at the moment.