The Department of the Army confirmed details today of the Department of Defense's announcement to deploy the 3rd Brigade (Spartans), 10th Mountain Division to Afghanistan instead of Iraq as previously scheduled. This decision is based on updated unit requirements in United States Central Command area of operations. The Fort Drum based unit deploys in January 2009 following 18 months of dwell time.

The previous operational experience of the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, combined with proactive pre-deployment training by its leaders; make this unit ideal for meeting CENTCOM unit requirements.

The Army will only provide the best led, best trained and best equipped forces possible to the combatant commander for operations in Afghanistan. These units are being informed in advance to provide them the opportunity to plan, conduct world-class training, and to provide some degree of predictability for Soldiers and their Families. . The Army also remains committed to carving out the dwell time for units, Soldiers, and Families between combat rotations. This dwell time is required to properly organize, re-train, and re-equip forces, as well as allow Soldiers and their Families' well-deserved rest.

The Spartans of the 10th Mountain Division 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team were formed in the fall of 2004 under the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) colors as part of the Army's transformation. The Spartans soon deployed as a Brigade Combat Team, February 2006-May 2007, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, in Afghanistan. Battalion-level units in the Spartan BCT have a lot of combat time, as they all have deployed in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. The Spartan Brigade is comprised of 1-32 Infantry "Chosin" Battalion; 2-87 Infantry "Catamounts"; 3-71 Cavalry (RSTA) "Titans"; 4-25 Field Artillery (Strike) "Wolfpack"; 710th BSB "Spartan Support"; and 3rd BSTB "Vanguards".

These outstanding Soldiers and their Family members continue to make great sacrifices for the good of our country and they appreciate and acknowledge the continued support of the American People. We pledge our support to them, their spouses and Family members. These soldiers have answered the call to duty in a most extraordinary fashion, and continue to make us proud in all they do!

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