1,000 U.S. soldiers from 82nd Airborne Division will begin to deploy to Iraq in late January 2015

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Defence & Security News - United States

 
 
Wednesday, December 24, 2014 10:08 AM
 
1,000 U.S. soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division will begin to deploy to Iraq in late January 2015.
Up to 1,300 more U.S. troops, including approximately 1,000 soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, will begin to deploy to Iraq in late January, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said today. There are now about 1,750 U.S. troops in Iraq, and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week ordered deployment of an additional 1,300.
     
Up to 1,300 more U.S. troops, including approximately 1,000 soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, will begin to deploy to Iraq in late January, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said today. There are now about 1,750 U.S. troops in Iraq, and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week ordered deployment of an additional 1,300.
Paratroopers assigned to 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, assist Iraqi officials during the opening of the Motasum Elementary School in eastern Baghdad
in 2008.
     

While the Pentagon will not disclose where the training sites will be, it's known that there are approximately 350 US service members at the al-Asad Air Base in Anbar province west of Baghdad, assisting the 7th Iraqi Division plan missions. Other sites are expected to be in and around Baghdad, and in the north near Erbil.

“Their mission will be to train, advise and assist Iraqi security forces,” Kirby told reporters at a Pentagon briefing. “This deployment is part of the additional 1,500 troops that the president authorized in November.”

The roughly 300 troops who are deploying in the same timeframe as the 82nd Airborne group will be from multiple services, the admiral said. Their contributions will be in “largely enabler capabilities,” Kirby added.

"What makes this [deployment] different is simply the geography,” Kirby explained. The advising teams will operate in the Anbar area and north of Baghdad, he said.

Kirby added, “But they're still going to be on a base and advising and assisting at the same higher headquarters level, [like] the 12 teams that are already there are doing.”

While the American troops will be interacting directly with Iraqi troops, the admiral emphasized that those interactions will be occurring in a training environment and not out in the field.

The overall mission is still designed around training 12 Iraqi brigades, including nine from the Iraqi security force and three from the Peshmerga, Kirby said.

While the training mission is ongoing, the U.S. military continues to conduct airstrikes at an appropriate pace and with an appropriate sense of precision and urgency, Kirby said.

 

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