By Mr. Paul Boyce (FORSCOM)May 19, 2008
The Department of the Army confirmed today, May 19, the Department of Defense's announcement for the next rotation of one division headquarters and seven brigade combat teams consisting of approximately 25,000 personnel in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The deployment window for these units will begin in late Fall 2008 and continue until the end of the year.
The division headquarters and seven brigade combat teams confirmed as part of the regular rotation to Iraq are the 25th Infantry (Tropical Lighting) Headquarters, 2nd (Warhorse) Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo;3rd (Bronco) Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; 2nd (Dagger) Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan; 3rd (Panther) Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C; 172nd (Blackhawk) Infantry Brigade, Schweinfurt, Germany; 3rd (Grey Wolf) Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas and the 1st (Lancers) Brigade (Stryker) Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright , Alaska.
The Army will only provide the best led, best trained and best equipped forces possible to the combatant commander for operations in Iraq. Though increasingly a challenge, the Army also remains committed to carving out the critical 12 months of 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. Starting 1 August 2008, all active Army units and Soldiers deploying to a named operation will deploy for not more than 12 months "Boots on the Ground." Those units deploying prior to 1 August 2008 will complete their scheduled deployment. IAW the established policies, these units and Soldiers, however, will not be deployed again for at least 12 months.
The 25th Infantry Division, "Tropic Lightning" served a one year tour of duty in Afghanistan from March 2004 to March 2005. Based at Bagram Airfield, the Tropic Lightning Division was responsible for security and stability operations, assuming the role as Headquarters, Combined Joint Task Force 76. The Tropic Lightning Division next deployed to Iraq in August 2006, headquartered at Contingency Operating Base Speicher in the northern Iraq city of Tikrit. The Division completed a fifteen month tour of duty and returned to Schofield Barracks in October of 2007. This will be the third deployment for the Tropic Lightning Division.
The Warhorse Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division completed its second tour in support of Iraqi Freedom in December 2006. The brigade's mission was to train Iraqi security forces to conduct operations independent of coalition assistance. The brigade supported Iraqi security forces in Najaf, Karbala and the northern Babil province.
The Broncos of the 25th Infantry Division served a one year tour of duty in Afghanistan from April 2004 - April 2005. Based at Kandahar Airfield, the Broncos were responsible for security and stability operations for the Regional Command South. In July 2006 the brigade began a tour of duty in northern Iraq. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team was based at Forward Operating Base Warrior in the northern Iraq city of Kirkuk. The brigade completed a fifteen month tour of duty and returned to Schofield Barracks in October, 2007.
The 2nd (Dagger) Heavy Brigade Combat Team is once again based at Fort Riley, Kan. The colors and lineage were returned from Schweinfurt, Germany in March. What was the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division reflagged March 28 as the 2nd (Dagger) Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. The Dagger Brigade's most recent deployment was August 2006 to November 2007 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon its return, the brigade cased its colors and was reflagged as the 172nd Infantry Brigade, clearing the way for the Brigade's colors to return to Fort Riley.
The Panthers of the 82nd Airborne Division recently returned from their third deployment in support of the Global War on Terror. The Panthers deployed to Afghanistan July 2002 to January 2003 and to Iraq August 2003 to April 2004 and August 2006 to October 2007.
The 172nd (Blackhawk) Infantry Brigade is now based in Schweinfurt, Germany, where the brigade was activated March 16. The brigade's most recent deployment was in August 2005, when the 172nd Infantry Brigade deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The deployment lasted from August 2005 to November 2006, which concluded the longest consecutive tour of duty as the 172d Stryker Brigade since Vietnam (16 months). As a result of the unit's action in Iraq, the brigade was awarded the Valorous Unit Award. Having returned from its extended tour in Baghdad, Iraq, the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team inactivated and was officially re-designated as the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division on December 14th, 2006.
The Grey Wolf Brigade will deploy for the third time in support of Iraqi Freedom. In 2004, the Brigade deployed to the Middle East for a year-long tour in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. The Grey Wolf Brigade again deployed to Iraq in 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08.
The 1st (Arctic Wolves) Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, activated at Fort Wainwright, Alaska in December 2006. The Arctic Wolves began the conversion in early 2002 from a light infantry brigade to a Stryker brigade as the 1st (Lancers) Brigade, 25th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington. They achieved combat-ready status in mid-2004 and began a one-year tour of duty in Iraq in October 2004. The brigade returned to Fort Lewis in September 2005. The Lancer's personnel and equipment was assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Stryker) and moved to Vilseck, Germany in June 2006. The 1st Brigade was temporarily inactive from June-October 2006 and reactivated in December 2006.
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.
For more information, contact Lt. Col. Lee M. Packnett at (703) 614-2487.