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3rd ID's 4th BCT to leave next summer
Pentagon confirms deployments into 2010
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The Department of Defense Thursday confirmed that another of the 3rd Infantry Division’s brigades will deploy to Iraq next summer.
The DoD announcement of major units scheduled to deploy as part of the next force rotation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom was expected. The Army-wide announcement involves three brigade combat teams, including the 3rd’s 4th BCT, and one armored cavalry regiment totaling approximately 15,000 personnel. The scheduled rotation for these forces will begin in the summer of 2010 and are expected to last a year.
At that time, much of the division will be in the Middle Eastern country. The division’s headquarters group is deploying now, along with the 3rd BCT, which is based out of Fort Benning, according to Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson. The 1st BCT is now in California training up for its deployment, along with the 2nd BCT in the next few months.
According to the Pentagon release, the units will serve as “advise and assist” brigades and will replace redeploying units, with no increase in overall force levels.
Larson implied the “advice and assist” mission is to turn over more control of the country to Iraqis.
“The soldiers of the 3rd ID are working to increase civilian confidence in the Iraqi security forces, to mentor and partner with the Iraqi army, and to defeat and isolate extremists,” he said. “They will work with the Iraqi army and police leadership, letting them lead operations as 3rd ID soldiers stand ready to assist them when they request support.”
Officials with the Obama administration have said the U.S. is cutting the number of troops it has in the country and hopes to end our presence there within a couple years.
Stars and Stripes reported yesterday that by August this year, the number of U.S. troops in Iraq is expected to drop from more than 100,000 to 50,000, according to the commanding general in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno.
Besides the local unit, troops in the latest rotation announcement include:
• 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Wahiawa, Hawaii
• 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas
• 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood
Larson said the military population here seems to be reacting well to the deployments.
“Fort Stewart families are well-informed and fiercely independent, visibly proud to be a part of the division and associated with their post, who know how to take care of themselves and each other, and are committed to doing so,” he said.
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