- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 14, 2004

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne, 4th Infantry and 10th Mountain divisions will make up a significant part of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan starting next year, the Pentagon announced yesterday.

The troop rotation will bring other units home. The deploying units, to arrive between mid-2005 and mid-2006, would keep about 138,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and another 18,000 in Afghanistan.

Each unit’s deployment will last about a year, with the final units expected back home in 2007.

Senior officials at the Pentagon said plans could change as the security situation in either country changes.

“It may very well be less than this. It may be the same amount. It may be more,” said Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita. The Pentagon has increased forces in Iraq by 12,000 soldiers in an effort to provide security for the coming elections.

Both the 101st Airborne, based at Fort Campbell, Ky., and the 10th Mountain, based at Fort Drum, N.Y., have sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq since the September 11, 2001, attacks. It is also the second trip to Iraq for the 4th Infantry since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

In addition to the entire 101st Airborne and 4th Infantry, other units going to Iraq during the rotation include:

• 48th Infantry Brigade of the Georgia Army National Guard.

• 1st Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division.

• 1st Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan.

• 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

The units going to Afghanistan include:

• 3rd and 4th Brigades, plus the headquarters, of the 10th Mountain. These are newly formed brigades.

• Headquarters element, 53rd Infantry Brigade, Florida Army National Guard.

Brig. Gen. David Rodriguez, deputy director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said other deployments will be announced in coming weeks. This may include Marine Corps combat units as well as support units, which draw more heavily from the National Guard and reserves.

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