By Third Army - PAOJune 16, 2010
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait (June 11, 2010) -- Third Army hosted key leaders June 8-9 at their forward headquarters in Kuwait for a conference on the drawdown in Iraq, buildup of forces in Afghanistan and reset of the Army.
"We have the capacities necessary to achieve the personnel drawdown in Iraq by the end of August as the president has directed," said Lt. Gen. William G. Webster, Third Army commanding general.
"We're going to do our best to continue to stay ahead of schedule so that those warriors out there have what they need before they realize they need it, and we would have been able to anticipate that and push it forward," Webster said.
Since October, Third Army's effort in the "Responsible Drawdown" mission has resulted in a reduction of more than 42,000 Soldiers (over 30 percent of those in Iraq). The withdrawal has also included more than 35,000 containers (nearly 40 percent of those in Iraq) and nearly 18,000 rolling stock items or 43 percent. To date, more than 139,000 items have been processed for disposition.
Third Army continues to set the theater in Southwest Asia in coordination with many other organizations throughout Central Command's area of responsibility by conducting the extensive planning required to execute a move of this magnitude, officials said.
Senior military and civilian leaders from across the AOR and Department of the Army and Department of Defense participated in the Nickel II R3 conference which detailed the coordination and synchronization necessary for success of the operation.
"Our priorities are the same priorities that General Petraeus, General Odierno and General McChrystal have. Our staffs are working their tails off with each other, and I really do applaud the team effort that all have been making here," Webster said.
The improved security situation and the increasing capabilities of Iraqi Security Forces have allowed U.S. Forces-Iraq to transition its mission from combat to stability operations, officials said.
The move could potentially pave the way for the U.S. Embassy to build a long-term partnership with a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq that contributes to peace and stability in the region, officials said.
U.S. Forces-Iraq is leading the responsible drawdown in Iraq, officials said. Third Army's mission is key to the transition from combat to stability operations in Iraq, and supports that mission by effectively transferring equipment from the Iraqi theater back to the U.S. or to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom, officials said.