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3rd ID preps for third deployment
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The 3rd Infantry Division is moving in all directions at an incredible pace preparing for its third deployment to Iraq but will pause to pray, case the division colors and dance in the streets Thursday.
Commanding General Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch has dubbed it 'a day to remember' for the military and the local community. Local communities are invited to come together to bid farewell to the division headquarters. The day will mark the official departure of the division on its historical third tour in Iraq.
The division will kick the day off with a spiritual fitness luncheon at Club Stewart. University of Georgia's head football Coach Mark Richt will speak. At 4pm the general will case the division's colors in a symbolic ceremony signifying the division's deployment. The ceremony is at Marne Garden followed by a street dance in the Newman Gym parking lot where officials hope the largest crowd will turn out.
"It will be a day that we will all recall for many years to come as the day our community stood together. It will be a day that we will all think of a year from now no matter where in the world we are and smile. March 8th will be remembered as a great day for each and every one of us," Lynch said. He made the comments in his weekly Marne 6 sends column of the installation newspaper.
The events not only signal the impending departure of more than 19,000 soldiers by year's end, but the change in location of the commanding general's flag. Lynch and 1,000 soldiers of the division's headquarters are set to move out next week to join the more than 8,000 3rd ID troops in Iraq.  The 1st Brigade Combat Team is already in combat operations in Iraq. The Fort Benning-based 3rd Brigade Combat Team began its deployment last month. As the division headquarters heads to the combat zone, the 2nd Brigade will follow in mid-May.  While deployment orders are in hand for most of the division's units, the 4th Brigade and Aviation Brigades have plans for a deployment this summer. The 3rd Sustainment Brigade, the main logistic arm of the division, is expected to deploy in the fall.
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