Army prepares for 2009 rotations in Operation Iraqi Freedom
September 30, 2008
The Department of the Army has confirmed the Department of Defense's announcement for the next rotation of major units scheduled to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The announcement involves a corps headquarters, a division headquarters, and seven brigade combat teams consisting of approximately 22,000 people. The deployment window for these units will begin this winter and continue into summer 2009.
The Corps and Division Headquarters confirmed as part of the regular rotation to Iraq are the I Corps (America's Corps), Fort Lewis, Wash, and the 1st Cavalry Division (First Team), Fort Hood, Texas.
Since 1918, the Soldiers of I Corps have served with distinction and have made I Corps America's most decorated corps in the active Army. The Corps has participated in more campaigns than any other corps and is the only corps ever to receive the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation. I Corps is now able to deploy on short notice with both Active Army and Reserve Component forces.
The 1st Cavalry Division (First Team) is a rapidly deployable heavy armored division of the United States Army with base of operations at Fort Hood, Texas. It is the largest division of the U.S. Army with 19,200 soldiers. Currently the division is organized with four ground maneuver brigade combat teams and one Air Combat Brigade. The Division assumed duties as the Headquarters, Multi-National Division - Baghdad in November 2006, and redeployed to Fort Hood in December 2007. This will be the 1st Cavalry Division's third deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The seven brigade combat teams confirmed as part of the regular rotation to Iraq are the 4th (Highlanders) Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Ft. Bliss, Texas; 4th (Red Devils) Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; 5th (Strike and Destroy) Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Ft. Lewis, Wash; 1st (Devils in Baggy Pants) Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Ft. Bragg, N.C.; 3rd (Arrowhead) Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Ft. Lewis, Wash; 4th (Dragons) Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Ft. Riley, Kan; and the 115th Fires (Cowboy Thunder) Brigade, Cheyenne, Wyo.
The Highlanders Brigade last deployed to Iraq from November 2006 to December 2007. The brigade was organized in 2005 as it was originally part of the 1st Cavalry Division. The brigade was re-flagged to the 1st Armored Division on March 5, 2008.
The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), also known as the Red Devils Brigade, was activated as the 4th Brigade Combat Team in January 2006. The 508th PIR last deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from January 2007 to April 2008.
The Strike and Destroy Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division was formed as the Army's 7th Stryker Brigade and activated on May 4, 2007 at Fort Lewis, WA. This is their first deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), also known as the Devils in Baggy Pants Brigade last deployed to Iraq from June 2007 to July 2008. The 504th PIR has also served two tours in Afghanistan, with the most recent being from May 2005 to May 2006.
The Arrowhead Brigade will deploy in support of Iraqi Freedom for a third time. In November 2003, it became the first Stryker Brigade deployed for combat operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). The "Arrowhead" Brigade returned to Fort Lewis in November 2004 after a very successful rotation to OIF and was replaced by its sister brigade, the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (SBCT). In June 2006, the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (SBCT) left for a second year-long deployment in Iraq, had its tour extended to 15 months, and returned home in September 2007.
The Dragon Brigade, the second of the five "surge brigades," was deployed to Iraq from February 2007 to April 2008. The brigade conducted stability and support operations in the Rashid District of Southern Baghdad, which is roughly the size of Orlando, Fla, with a population of about 1.2 million.
The Cowboy Thunder Brigade, located in Cheyenne, WY, is the command and control element for several field artillery battalions. The brigade is also the peacetime headquarters for the 1st Battalion, 49th Field Artillery and 3rd Battalion, 49th Field Artillery. The brigade has a long history of service, dating back to when Wyoming was a territory. Elements of the Cowboy Thunder Brigade deployed to Iraq from January 2004 to December 2004.
Soldiers and Family members continue to make great sacrifices for the good of our country and in response to theater requirements. America's Soldiers are performing magnificently around the world during this time of war, and they appreciate and acknowledge the continued support of the American People.
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For more information, contact Lt. Col. Lee M. Packnett at (703) 614-2487.