82nd Airborne HQ Troops to Replace 1st Infantry Division in Iraq


About 500 headquarters troops from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division will replace a similar number of 1st Infantry Division troops in Iraq in June, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

The 82nd troops, based at Fort Bragg, N.C., will begin arriving in June on a nine-month rotation, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

Most of the 82nd troops will likely work out of Joint Operations Centers providing support and intelligence to the Iraqi Security Forces from Baghdad and Irbil, capital of the Kurdish region, Warren said.

Other 82nd Headquarters troops will work outside of Iraq in the Central Command's area of responsibility in the region in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S. mission against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The 82nd will be taking over the role of Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command-Iraq.

"Our paratroopers are well-trained and ready to continue the tremendous support the 1st Infantry Division is providing to the Iraqi Security Forces," Maj. Gen. Richard Clarke, the 82nd's commander, said in a statement.

The 82nd's 3rd Brigade Combat Team already has about 1,250 troops in Iraq in a training and advisory role for the Iraqi Security Forces. The 3rd BCT troops deployed in January. Currently, the U.S. has a total of about 3,000 troops in Iraq.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at richard.sisk@military.com

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