The 3rd Infantry Division was notified by the Department of the Army Thursday that the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion will deploy to Afghanistan in August in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
This makes three 3rd ID battalions now deploying to Afghanistan this year. Two battalions with the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team have already been slated to deploy this spring. The 3rd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment will deploy next month and the 3rd Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment will deploy in April.
The Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion is led by the division commander, Maj. Gen. Robert “Abe” Abrams, and his command group, which consists of approximately 700 soldiers comprising various staff components and the support elements.
Their mission is to serve as the command and control element of Regional Command South, one of four International Security Assistance Force regional commands responsible for all ISAF operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, the division headquarters will advise and assist their Afghan partners as well as provide logistical coordination, civil, administrative and infrastructure support to their area of operation.
Until last November, the division’s headquarters units had been preparing to deploy to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn and potential follow-on missions. The troop withdrawal announcement by President Obama ended the timeline for the unit’s deployment. However, all the training and preparation for Operation New Dawn established a firm basis of preparation for the new deployment mission the unit received, a news release from the division said.
The headquarters soldiers are expected to deploy for a year. A new deployment period policy establishing a nine-month tour of duty was announced by the secretary of the Army in August and took effect on Jan. 1.
However, the policy states division headquarters elements will deploy for a year. The 3rd ID Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion’s anticipated returning in late summer 2013. This is the first time the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion will deploy to Afghanistan.
“The soldiers and leaders of the Marne Division are focused on this new mission and are diligently preparing for the new opportunities and challenges that we will face. I am fully confident in our abilities to accomplish this new deployment mission,” Abrams said.
The 3rd ID and Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield commander said the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion is battle-tested and manned by experienced soldiers and leaders of the Marne Division, he said.