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Thousands in Germany, Italy are told they will be deploying in mid-2007

Some 8,500 soldiers from 43 units in Germany and Italy have received official word that they will be deploying to either Iraq or Afghanistan later this year, U.S. Army Europe officials announced Monday.

Part of the 2007-2009 force rotation announced by the Defense Department in November, all the affected units are preparing for yearlong deployments in support of operations in Iraq or Afghanistan, USAREUR said.

The deployment is not part of the increase of troops announced by President Bush earlier this month.

Larger units, such as the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team — located in Bamberg and Schweinfurt, Germany, and Vicenza, Italy — and the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade — from Ansbach and Katterbach, Germany — will be sending several thousand soldiers each.

The exact dates of the deployment have not been announced, although a farewell ceremony for the 12th CAB is scheduled tentatively for May 16 in Katterbach, according to Maj. Charles Bowery, the brigade’s executive officer.

Word on where the units will be stationed when they get to Iraq or Afghanistan also is not available, but “they will be assigned to an area that best supports the combatant commander’s objectives,” a USAREUR news release stated.

Other units on the list include parts of the following commands:

  • 21st Theater Support Command.
  • Headquarters, U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army.
  • 7th Army Reserve Command.
  • 5th Signal Command.
  • European Regional Medical Command.
  • 266th Finance Command.

This will be the first deployment for the 12th CAB, which was formerly known as 4th Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Bowery said. The unit was renamed in August.

In addition to its headquarters and three of its battalions, the aviation brigade will be in charge of engineer units from Hanau and Vilseck, Germany, as well as National Guard and Reserve units from four states, Bowery said in a telephone interview Monday.

In all, the brigade will be in charge of 3,500 to 4,000 soldiers in Iraq — about 3,000 of them from Germany-based units.

“Currently we’re in the pre-deployment training process,” Bowery said of his unit’s readiness level. “Our brigade headquarters as well as subordinate battalion headquarters recently returned from a training simulation exercise at Fort Rucker (Ala.)”

Bowery said that parts of the aviation brigade and the 173rd Airborne are training in Grafenwöhr, Germany, now.

Maj. Scott Hines, executive officer of the 173rd’s 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, said all the soldiers in the brigade have received the news — and so have their families.

“We’ve known for some time that we were going to deploy,” he said in a brief phone interview from Grafenwöhr. “We just didn’t know when, and we still don’t know really. Just early summer.”

Hines said the brigade had already planned the greater part of the next month to train in Germany. That training is needed because the brigade faced about a 60 percent turnover after returning from a yearlong stint in Afghanistan.

The 12th also has a certification exercise scheduled for April to make sure it’s fully prepared for the deployment, Bowery said. After the certification is complete, he said, all brigade members will be given time to spend with friends and families in April and May.

Family support elements also are preparing and are aware of the important role they’ll play while the unit is downrange, Bowery said.

“We have a great family support structure. They’re making sure that we’re ready to deploy. They’ll take care of our soldiers while they’re gone, and take care of the families while we’re away,” he said.

Among the units leaving, the 3rd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (Assault) in Katterbach, has been home for the least amount of time, having returned from Afghanistan in February 2006, Bowery said.

Stars and Stripes reporter Kent Harris contributed to this story.


Who's going ...

The following units are scheduled to deploy as part of the next OIF rotation:

Units from V Corps

  • 12th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB)
  • HHC, 12th CAB, stationed in Katterbach, Germany
  • 3-158 Assault Aviation Battalion, stationed in Katterbach, Germany
  • 2-159 Attack Aviation Battalion, stationed in Illesheim, Germany
  • 412th Aviation Support Battalion, stationed in Katterbach, Germany
  • 243rd Theater Construction Management (TCM) Detachment, 18th Engineer Brigade, stationed in Hanau, Germany
  • 535th Engineer Support Company, 18th Engineer Brigade, stationed in Grafenwoehr, Germany

Units from SETAF

  • 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team (ABCT), stationed in Vicenza, Italy
  • HHC, 173rd ABCT, stationed in Vicenza, Italy
  • 1-503 Infantry Battalion, stationed in Vicenza, Italy
  • 2-503 Infantry Battalion, stationed in Vicenza, Italy 
  • 1-91 Reconnaissance Surveillance Target Acquisition (RSTA) Battalion, stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany
  • 4-319 Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, stationed in Bamberg, Germany
  • 173rd Special Troops Battalion, stationed in Bamberg, Germany
  • 173rd Brigade Support Battalion, stationed in Bamberg, Germany

Units from 21st Theater Support Command (TSC)

  • HHC, 18th Military Police Brigade, stationed in Mannheim, Germany
  • HHD, 95th Military Police Battalion, stationed in Mannheim, Germany
  • 212th Military Police Company, stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany
  • 230th Military Police Company, stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • HHD, 14th Movement Control Battalion, stationed in Vicenza, Italy
  • HHD, 28th Transportation Battalion, stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • 240th Quartermaster Company, stationed in Bamberg, Germany
  • 606th Movement Control Team, stationed in Mannheim, Germany
  • 627th Movement Control Team, stationed in Bamberg, Germany
  • 635th Movement Control Team, stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany
  • 41st Transportation Company (PLS), stationed in Grafenwoehr, Germany
  • 51st Transportation Company (PLS), stationed in Mannheim, Germany
  • 68th Transportation Company (MED TRK), stationed in Mannheim, Germany
  • 69th Transportation Company (MED TRK), stationed in Mannheim, Germany
  • 70th Transportation Company (MED TRK), stationed in Mannheim, Germany
  • 109th Transportation Company (MED TRK), stationed in Mannheim, Germany
  • 515th Transportation Company (POL), stationed in Mannheim, Germany
  • 5th Ordnance Company (DS), stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • 95th Military Police Battalion, stationed in Mannheim, Germany
  •             - Eleven Patrol/Explosive Detection Dog (PEDD) Teams

Unit from HQ U.S. Army in Europe & 7th Army

  • 19th Battlefield Control Detachment (BCD), stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany

Units from 7th Army Reserve Command

  • 1172nd Movement Control Team (MCT), stationed in Bamberg, Germany
  • 209th Army Liaison Team, stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany

Unit from 5th Signal Command

  • 44th Signal Battalion, stationed in Mannheim, Germany

Unit from European Regional Medical Command (ERMC) (30 MED BDE)

  • 71st Medical Detachment (Preventive Medicine), stationed in Grafenwoehr, Germany

Unit from 266th Finance Command

  • Bravo Detachment, 39th Finance Battalion, stationed in Katterbach, Germany

Units from 21st Theater Support Command (TSC)

  • 527th Military Police Company, stationed in Giessen, Germany
  • 720th Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Company, stationed in Mannheim, Germany
  • 95th Military Police Battalion, stationed in Mannheim, Germany
  • -         seven patrol/explosive detection dog (PEDD) teams

Unit from 266th Finance Command

  • Alpha Detachment, 208th Finance Battalion, stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany

Source: USAREUR


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