Two battalions representing about 1,500 soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division’s 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan, according to news releases recently issued by the 3rd ID’s public affairs office.
The 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment’s “Battle Boars” will deploy next month, and the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment’s “Desert Rogues” will deploy in April, according to a Jan. 4 release.
The release stated that this is the first time either unit has deployed to Afghanistan. However, both units previously have deployed to Iraq four times with the 3rd ID’s 2nd HBCT, having most recently returned from their last one-year combat tour in October 2010.
Family members of the deploying soldiers should know the upcoming tour of duty is expected to last nine months instead of 12, according to a Jan. 3 release, which reiterated that the U.S. Army is transitioning to a new deployment period policy that was announced by the Secretary of the Army in August. The shorter tours took effect Jan. 1.
The mission of the 800 soldiers from the 1-30th Infantry is to provide security for other units conducting contingency operations, and they will provide security for units conducting village stability operations in Afghanistan, the release said. The 700 soldiers from the 1-64th Armor will deploy as part of a Stryker brigade combat team already deployed to Afghanistan from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., the release added.
According to www.sbct.army.mil/About-Us.html, a Stryker brigade combat team is a mechanized infantry force structured around the eight-wheeled Interim Armored Vehicle called the Stryker. A Stryker brigade combat team has the armor advantages of a heavy brigade combat team with its Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the mobility advantages of an infantry brigade combat team, which features “light” infantry units.
Accordingly, the Desert Rogues will increase that Stryker unit’s capability to perform multilevel counterinsurgency operations. They’ll also assist in training Afghanistan National Security Forces, preparing them to lead security efforts in their country.
Both news releases emphasize that Marne Division soldiers are flexible regarding worldwide deployment requirements and ready for any contingency operation. The releases stated the 3rd ID always will meet requirements for contingency operations with well-trained units.
Courier staffer Randy Murray contributed to this report.