By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service
May 9, 2007 – Defense Department officials today announced the next two major Army units that will deploy to Afghanistan to continue the operations of current U.S. forces in the region. The announcement affects 4,500 soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division, from Fort Campbell, Ky., who will begin deploying in early 2008, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.
"This is a reflection of the continued U.S. commitment to maintain two brigades in Afghanistan to maintain the level of forces necessary to provide sufficient military capability to NATO (International Security Assistance Force) to perform counterterrorism operations, assist with reconstruction, and to train and equip Afghan security forces," Whitman said.
Troops from the 101st Airborne Division's headquarters and 4th Brigade Combat Team will be receiving 15-month deployment orders to replace the 10th Mountain Division's headquarters and 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
In consultation with Afghan officials and NATO, commanders continue to assess the situation to ensure sufficient force levels to best support the Afghan government, defense officials said. Afghan security forces continue to develop capability and assume responsibility for security, and this U.S. force rotation may be tailored based upon changes in the security situation.
Defense officials yesterday announced that three brigade combat teams from the 101st Airborne Division have been alerted for an upcoming deployment to Iraq between August and the end of the year.
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