Iraq, Afghanistan Rotations

Article excerpt

Major force shifts are taking place this fall with multiple brigade combat teams (BCTs) deploying while others are returning to base after 15 months. Some 150,000 soldiers are currently serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Six BCTs will leave by the end of November, and an additional three will deploy before January 1.

The Army's first Joint debriefing and interrogation center battalion deployed from Fort Sam Houston, Texas, in September and will provide interrogation support to the commander of Multi-National Force-Iraq.

In September, 8,000 soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) were in Iraq at the same time. The 2nd BCT was concluding a 15-month tour, its fourth deployment, with redeployment scheduled for November, and the 1st BCT was beginning its deployment. The 4th BCT, 10th Mountain Division, is slated for deployment in November.

Ending its second deployment to Iraq, the 2nd Infantry Division's 3rd Stryker BCT began arriving at Fort Lewis, Wash., on September 11, the first of the brigade's approximately 3,800 troops to return. The 4th BCT, 3rd Infantry Division, deployed from Fort Stewart, Ga., in September and will join the 2nd BCT already in Iraq.

First Armored Division's Headquarters cased its flag in September at Wiesbaden Army Airfield, Germany, in preparation for deployment. The division will take command of Multi-National Division-North in Tikrit from the 25th Infantry Division (Light). Approximately 7,000 soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division, including the Division Headquarters, 3rd BCT, and the Combat Aviation Brigade began returning from Iraq to Hawaii in September.

The 25th Infantry Division, 4th BCT (Airborne), which deployed from Fort Richardson, Alaska, in October 2006, is scheduled to redeploy in December. Some 4,000 soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division, 2nd BCT (Stryker), left Schofield Barracks in August and will train in Southern California before deploying to Iraq in November.

The 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), which commanded Multi-National Division-Baghdad through 2006, is slated to replace the 1st Cavalry Division, now commanding the division. The four BCTs of the 1st Cavalry Division will redeploy to Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Bliss, Texas, within the next few months. Headquarters, 1st BCT, and 3rd BCT, 4th Infantry, have deployment orders to return to Iraq beginning in November and December.

The 2nd BCT, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), is scheduled to have troops begin returning to Schweinfurt, Germany, in late October, with the main body scheduled to arrive in mid- to late November. In September, the 1st Infantry's Combat Aviation Brigade left Fort Riley, Kan., and Fort Carson, Colo., for training in Kuwait before shipping to Iraq to perform attack, reconnaissance, assault, lift and medevac missions.

Additional rotations include: the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment arrived in Baghdad in September; the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment was scheduled to deploy to Iraq in October; one group of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) left Fort Campbell, Ky., for Iraq in September; the balance of the battalion and the rest of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade will deploy to Afghanistan in December; the 3rd BCT of the 82nd Airborne Division began redeployment in late October.

Medical Care Update. Two Army medical centers have improved the quality of care they provide. Landstuhl (Germany) Regional Medical Center has become the only hospital outside the United States designated as a trauma center by the American College of Surgeons. In Washington, D.C, a new Military Advanced Training Center for Soldier Amputees at Walter Reed Army Medical Center opened in September.

The Walter Reed facility offers stateof-the-art occupational and physical therapy, virtual reality systems, sports programs and training with prostheses, all geared to help troops regain a range of abilities. The $10 million, 31,000square-foot amputee rehabilitation center was designed so that all the equipment can be moved to another location when Walter Reed closes in 2011. …