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Hunter unit extended two weeks in Afghanistan
Army begins new troop rotation
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The U.S. Department of the Army announced Friday  the extension of a division headquarters and a combat aviation brigade in Afghanistan, as well as the future deployment of a division headquarters with recent Operation Enduring Freedom experience.  
  The moves are part of an initiative to place units on a habitual rotation to take advantage of their knowledge of the environment to which they are returning and to increase deployment stability.
The units being extended are the 82nd Airborne Division Headquarters from Fort Bragg, N.C., and the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Stewart.  The 82nd Airborne Division will extend its current deployment by approximately 50 days, and the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade will extend for 14 days.
Army officials said the extensions are necessary to allow follow-on units to accrue one year of time at their home station before redeploying. The process will be managed to avoid any stop-loss for personnel.
The follow-on forces will deploy in spring 2010.  They are the 101st Airborne Division Headquarters from Fort Campbell, Ky., which will now deploy six months sooner than previously planned, and the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Drum, N.Y.  
Officials say the adjustments to the Operation Enduring Freedom troop rotation achieve better continuity at the division headquarters level in Afghanistan and increase deployment stability for the soldiers and families of these units. When these adjustments are completed, the units will deploy at close to a 1:2 ratio — one year deployed, two years at home.
The Army said it is commited to maintaining the level of forces necessary to provide sufficient military capability for the NATO-International Security Assistance Force to improve security and stability operations.  
In consultation with Afghan officials and NATO, commanders continue to assess the situation to ensure sufficient force levels to support the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, perform counter-terrorism operations, assist with reconstruction and train and equip the Afghan national security forces.  
Afghan security forces continue to develop capabilities and assume responsibility for security. This U.S. force rotation may be tailored based upon changes in the security situation.
“These adjustments to our force flow strategy are an important element in supporting the commander of ISAF’s efforts to develop greater campaign continuity in regard to maximizing experience and stability in Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Lt. Gen. J.D. Thurman, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations.
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