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Garrison commander reports on deployments
Col. Todd Buchs
Col. Todd Buchs, Fort Stewart garrison commander, told a Hinesville group Wednesday that while the community should count on deployments from the post into the foreseeable future, they would be more often be one brigade at a time, “but not the whole division.”
He reported to the Friends of Liberty and Fort Stewart that the Third Infantry’s Division First Brigade is in Iraq, the Second is loading equipment now for deployment by May and the Fourth Brigade is scheduled to deploy by July.
Also loading equipment for May deployment is the aviation brigade stationed at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah.
The division headquarters is in Iraq and is expected to assume its responsibility as Multi-National Division — Center on Monday.
Buchs said future deployment of individual brigades as combat units, rather than the entire division going as a whole, would make a difference to soldiers and civilians.
Current plans calling for almost all of the division to be deployed by summer are a result of President Bush’s “surge” to escalate U.S. involvement in the Iraqi civil war.
The Army’s pre-surge force flow plan would have sent the division's 3rd BCT from Fort Benning during the second quarter of calendar year 2007 and the 2nd and 4th Brigades from Fort Stewart would have deployed during the July-August-September timeframe.
Buchs also pointed to Fort Stewart's role as a training post and listed future training facilities planned. “But these are only viable if we have land to put them on,” he said.
Longer-range weapons and other developments will require larger and larger training spaces for posts in the future, “and we want to manage, not impede, growth.” Buchs said.
Pointing out the joint use military civilian airport at Wright Army Airfield, Buchs said, “Wright is an example of what we can do when we work together.”
He added that Fort Stewart is cooperating on siting a new middle school on the military reservation.
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