FORT HOOD, Texas- The Department of Defense announced June 30 that the 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Teams of the 1st Cavalry Division will be deploying to Iraq in early 2009.

The two brigades will be conducting the full spectrum of operations.

According to the DoD release, the announcement "reflects the continued commitment of the United States to the security of the Iraqi people, and provides replacement forces required to maintain the current level of effort in Iraq." Furthermore, the release also explained that "subsequent deployment orders will be issued based on force level decisions made in the future."

The 1st "Ironhorse" Brigade Combat Team has deployed twice previously in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. For the brigade's first rotation to Iraq during OIF II which began in March 2004, the unit fought some of the war's most intense street battles in urban terrain. The Ironhorse Brigade spent hundreds of millions of dollars on infrastructure improvements and equipping Iraqi Security Forces. In March of 2005, the brigade redeployed to Fort Hood where it began the task of preparing for reorganization into the future unit of action.

The Ironhorse Brigade once again deployed to Iraq in October of 2006, serving a 15-month deployment in support of OIF 06-08. The brigade accepted responsibility for the largest area in Multi-National Division-Baghdad and one of the most heavily populated. While in theater, the brigade became an integral part of the surge operation in Baghdad with an initial focus on combat operations to provide a safe, stable and secure environment for Iraq.

According to the DoD release, the 1st BCT's assistance with the reconciliation efforts of Sunni and Shia tribal leaders led to a significant expansion of Iraqi Security Forces, local government and infrastructure improvement followed by a flourishing economic and cultural growth.

The 2nd "Black Jack" Brigade Combat Team, which will also be deploying to Iraq for a third time, first deployed to Iraq in support of OIF I in January of 2004 as the lead element of the 1st Cavalry Division. Attached to the 1st Armored Division during the initial deployment, the Black Jack Brigade patrolled Western Baghdad. The brigade redeployed to Fort Hood in March of 2005 where it was reorganized as a Heavy Brigade Combat Team.

In OIF 06-08, the 2nd BCT concentrated their efforts on improving security, local government, economics and essential services for the Iraqi people. By the end of their deployment, Black Jack Soldiers saw violence reduced in their areas by 85 percent, allowing the brigade to help the Iraqi people with the establishment of essential services, schools, medical care and local markets, and according to the DoD release, these improvements helped in "providing the Iraqis with the stability and security that they deserved."

Prior to deployment, both the Ironhorse Brigade and Black Jack Brigade will continue their focus on combined training. The Ironhorse Brigade is scheduled for training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. while the Black Jack Brigade will conduct their training at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La.

Page last updated Mon June 30th, 2008 at 13:06