The Department of the Army confirmed today, the Department of Defense announcement for the next rotation of major units scheduled to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The announcement involves three division headquarters and eight brigade combat teams comprising approximately 30,000 people. The deployment window for these units will begin in the fall and continue into early 2010.

The division headquarters and eight brigade combat teams, part of the regular rotation to Iraq, are the 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One) Fort Riley, Kan.; 1st Armored Division (Old Ironsides) Wiesbaden Germany; 3rd Infantry Division (Rock of the Marne), Fort Stewart, Ga.; 1st (Forerunners) Brigade, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas, 1st, (Warrior), and 2nd (Commando) Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.; 1st (Raider) and 2nd (Spartan) Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.; 3rd (Sledgehammer) Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.; 3rd (Iron) Brigade, 4th Infantry Division Fort Carson, Colo. and the 53rd (Gator) Brigade Combat Team, Florida Army National Guard.

The Army will only provide the best led, best trained and best equipped forces possible to the combatant commander for operations in Iraq to support the US-Iraq Security Agreement (SA) and the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA). All deploying units will conduct full spectrum operations.

The 1st Armored Division (Old Ironsides) is a rapidly deployable heavy armored division of the United States Army with its base of operations in Wiesbaden, Germany. During its initial deployment in 2003, Task Force 1st Armored Division was the largest division-based task force in U.S. Army history. This will be the 1st Armored Division's third deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One) is the oldest continuously serving division in the U.S. Army located in Fort Riley, Kan. The Big One deployed to Iraq in February 2004, returned to Germany in 2005, deactivated on July 7, 2006, returned to Fort Riley and conducted a transfer of authority with the 24th Infantry (Victory) Division on August 1, 2006. The division completed it modularization in 2008 and is preparing for its second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The 3rd Infantry Division (Rock of the Marne) will deploy for the fourth time to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The division led the charge into Baghdad in 2003, returned in 2005 in support of the Iraq provincial elections and deployed again in 2007 in support of the "surge" of forces for 15 months, returning in June 2008.

The Forerunner Brigade was activated in 1942 and has served in both the 1st and 3rd Armored Divisions. The brigade relocated from Germany to its current base in Fort Bliss, Texas, after its second deployment to Iraq, which lasted 14 months (January 2006 -February 2007). This will be the Forerunners' third deployment to Iraq.

The Warrior Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division was activated on April 11, 1986, at Fort Drum, N.Y., with three light infantry battalions. The Warriors have two deployments to Afghanistan and will deploy to Iraq for a second time. The brigade returned to Fort Drum in November 2008 after 14 months.

The 10th Mountain Division Commando brigade was activated on October 7, 1985, at Fort Benning, Ga. and consisted of two light infantry battalions. The brigade is one of four brigade combat teams with more than 40 months deployed since 2001. The Commandos returned from a second deployment to Iraq in November 2007 and have deployed twice to Afghanistan.
The 1st Brigade Raiders of the 3rd Infantry Division became the first brigade combat team to reorganize to the new modular organization design of the Army after returning from Iraq in 2003. The Raiders have deployed to Iraq on three different occasions with the most recent being from February 2007 to April 2008.

The Spartan Brigade made the initial assault into Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom One when they conducted an attack into Southern Iraq. The brigade covered 300 kilometers in 24 hours, penetrating deep into enemy territory. In January 2005, the Spartans reorganized and were redesignated as 2nd Brigade Combat Team and redeployed to Baghdad as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. In May 2007, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team deployed again to Iraq for 14 months returning in July 2008. This is the Spartans' fourth deployment to Iraq.

Rock of the Marne's Sledgehammer Brigade is another brigade combat team with more than 40 months of deployment. In January 2005, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq on its second deployment as part of Task Force Liberty headed by the 42nd Infantry Division, New York Army National Guard and subsequently attached to elements of the 101st Airborne Division. In March 2007 Sledgehammer returned to Iraq for its third tour of duty for 15 months, returning in June 2008.

The Iron Brigade was constituted 19 November 1917 in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 8th Infantry Brigade, an element of the 4th Infantry Division. The Brigade has been reorganized and redesignated several times over the years. Finally, on 15 December 1970, it was activated at Fort Carson, CO, as 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. When the Division Headquarters moved to Fort Hood, TX, the Brigade remained at Fort Carson and was redesignated as 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT). The Iron Brigade will deploy to Iraq for a fourth time. The brigade returned from a 14 month deployment in February 2009.

The Gator Brigade is the largest National Guard unit in Florida. The brigade was previously designated as an enhanced readiness brigade, one of only 15 National Guard combat units so recognized. The 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team includes 32 units in Florida. Units within the brigade have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. The Gators, originally announced for deployment to Afghanistan, have been reassigned to Kuwait as a security force brigade.

Soldiers, families and Army communities continue to sacrifice for the good of our country and in response to theater requirements. America's Soldiers are performing magnificently around the world during the third-longest war in our nation's history, and the longest war fought by our all-volunteer military; they do so proudly and they appreciate the continued support of the American people.


For more information, contact Lt. Col. Lee M. Packnett at (703) 614-2487.

Page last updated Tue July 14th, 2009 at 12:07