"This increase in combat power will ensure a robust, flexible force capable of denying insurgent sanctuaries in Afghanistan, place greater emphasis on the border region and extend security operations to a wider area in Afghanistan." Maj. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, 10th Mountain Division commander.
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Extension in Afghanistan
On 25 Jan 2007, SECDEF announced the extension of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, N.Y., for an additional four months to defeat the Taliban and ensure security and stability in Regional Command East in support of the ISAF mission. Over 60 Soldiers had already returned to Ft. Drum and a hundred were in Kuwait when the extension was announced. These Soldiers redeployed back to Afghanistan a few days later. The 10th Mountain Division and Ft. Drum, with support from 18th Airborne Corps, Forces Command, and the Army's leadership, are totally committed to provide support to the Soldiers and families of the 3-10th to minimize the impact of this extension.
What has the Army done? HQDA, FORSCOM and 18th Airborne Corps staffs have augmented the division and installation staffs to synchronize and facilitate support. This team is continuing to identify resources to assist the Soldiers and their families.
Ft. Drum and the 10th Mountain Division established a Family Readiness Center (FRC) to coordinate services and support for families of affected Soldiers and also established regular spouse and family meetings to facilitate the information flow between families and Army leaders.
The Army's Surgeon General is augmenting medical support to address a range of identified needs primarily in the areas of mental health, individual and group services, consultation to schools and childcare centers, and transition training and skills to the community. Letters to landlords (present and gaining areas) requesting extensions of leases, refunds of deposits, etc... are available upon request.
Soldiers on assignment orders, including re-enlistment options, will continue to their gaining unit upon redeployment, and those identified for military or civilian schooling will get individual attention to reschedule the school as soon as possible upon redeployment. Contact has been established with commercial airlines, cruise ships, and destination locations to seek reimbursement or accommodation for those Soldiers and families who had planned vacations upon redeployment. Family Life Consultants are available to offer support to Soldiers and families through education, information and support groups. Transportation of individual HHG, POV and family members have been facilitated to adjust to the extension including extension of POV and HHG storage.
Soldiers who are deployed for more than 365 days (including R&R leave) are entitled to an additional $1,000 per month of special pays - a combination of $800 Assignment Incentive Pay (AIP) and a $200 increase in Hardship Duty Pay (HDP). Soldiers will also continue to receive Combat Zone Tax Exclusion (CTZE) and Family Separation Pay (if applicable).
Why is this important to the Army? The commitment to support our Soldiers and their families builds trust in the Army. As operations stress our forces, our ability to provide support to our Soldiers and their families will strengthen their resolve to remain a part of the Army. The full power and attention of the Army is ready to solve issues and provide assistance to these Soldiers and their families because we need them to remain ready and capable of executing the national security strategy and responding to assignments the President may direct.