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Plans for 3rd ID deployment vague
Rotation schedule released, no mention of local troops
Rocky is the mascot of the 3rd Infantry Division
Despite President Barack Obama’s plans to pull all combat troops out of Iraq by August 2010, the U.S. Defense Department has confirmed that more soldiers will be headed to the Middle East this fall.
It is not clear, however, whether members of the 3rd Infantry Division will deploy, as previously reported, as part of the rotation.
On Monday, the DoD announced replacement units scheduled for 12-month deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan later this year.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said that nearly 9,000 troops from an Army division headquarters and two Army brigade combat teams have been indentified to deploy as part of the DoD’s regularly scheduled rotation of forces to combat theaters in the countries.
“These units have been identified for some time now to go in as replacement units,” Whitman said Monday. “This isn’t part of the additional capabilities that we’re applying. These are rotational forces and do not alter or change any announcements made last week … we’re still at the same troop level in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
The announcement targets members of the 82nd Airborne Division Headquarters from Fort Bragg, N.C., and the 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team from Fort Carson, Colo., which will be replacing the 101st Airborne Division Headquarters and the 4th Brigade Combat Team from Fort Campbell, Ky., as they head to Afghanistan this fall.
Also included was the 2nd Infantry Division’s 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team from Fort Lewis, Wash. They will head to Iraq where they are scheduled to replace the division’s 3rd Stryker BCT.
Whitman did not list any units from the 3rd ID.
The 3rd ID commander, Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, was not available for comment Monday or Tuesday. However, in January, Cucolo said the division’s headquarters and 2nd BCT, as well as the 3rd BCT at Fort Benning, were slated to deploy to Iraq in the fall.
Fort Stewart spokesman Maj. Lee Peters said he was aware of the 3rd ID’s absence in the announcement, but could not comment on the report until official notification is received.
“[The 3rd I.D.] will continue to train for a fall deployment to Iraq,” Peters said. “If we receive orders not to deploy, we will
continue to train for future missions. If the Army determines we need to send 3rd ID forces to Afghanistan, we will be prepared to deploy there, or to any other area the Army directs us.”
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