US Army Announces 1,800 Soldiers to Deploy to Iraq, Afghanistan
The U.S. Army is deploying 1,800 soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan over the next several months.
The 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, will deploy 1,300 soldiers from its 2nd Brigade Combat Team to Iraq this spring in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, according to an Army press release.
The "Strike" brigade will advise and assist Iraqi Security Forces, replacing the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, which will return to Fort Drum, New York.
The "2nd Brigade is ready, trained, well-lead and fully prepared to take on its new mission in support of coalition operations in Iraq," said Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, commander of 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell.
"The brigade recently returned from the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana, where the soldiers validated their outstanding ability to conduct complex operations in any environment and win," he added. "This ability will be critical in supporting the Iraqi Army."
In addition, the 10th Mountain Division, stationed in Fort Drum, New York, will deploy 500 soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment to Afghanistan this winter in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
Combat operations for U.S. forces ended in 2014 and President Barack Obama's plan had been to reduce the number of American troops there to about 1,000 by the end of 2016.
However, Obama later went along with a recommendation from Afghanistan commander Gen. John Campbell to keep the troop strength at about 9,800 through 2015 while aiming to reduce forces to about 5,000 by the end of 2016.
The 2-87 soldiers will join the 10th Mountain Division Headquarters, currently in Afghanistan serving as the National Support Element at Bagram Airfield.
"Our nation's Army continues to call upon Mountain Soldiers to serve around the world in places like Afghanistan due to their proven record of high standards, mission success and selfless service," said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey L. Bannister, commander of the 10th Mountain Division.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.
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