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A fourth Army brigade has arrived in and around Baghdad to complement the American troop “surge,” officials said Wednesday.

The 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, out of Fort Lewis, Wash., “will be deployed in various locations around the country. Their mission will be to assist Iraqi Security Forces to clear, control and retain key areas of the capital city in order to reduce violence,” a military news release read.

The brigade is made up of around 3,700 soldiers, officials said.

Even as President Bush and the Congress continue wrangling over war funding and the “surge” policy of putting nearly 30,000 additional American troops in Iraq, the buildup in Baghdad has continued.

Three other brigades — the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division; 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne; and 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division — have arrived in Baghdad over the previous three months.

In all, five Army brigades have been tapped to make up the bulk of additional forces. Originally announced as 17,500 troops, the “surge” also includes thousands of extra logistical and military police personnel.

The new security plan involves putting Iraqi and American troops in smaller combat outposts within the city. The aim is to provide around-the-clock troop presence in neighborhoods that had limited oversight before.

Several Marine Corps units also have been extended in Anbar province.

The 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team was formed in June 2006. According to a separate military release issued Wednesday, one of the brigade’s battalions will be making the combat debut of the newest edition of the Stryker vehicle.

The improved Strykers have a new 105 mm cannon, a mounted M240C machine gun and a pedestal-mounted M2 .50-caliber machine gun, officials said.

Digital targeting takes into account the wind factor, the cant of the vehicle and the barometric pressure, officials said.

The new systems were test-fired at Udairi Range in Kuwait before the unit moved north into Iraq.

“If I was looking down this barrel, I’d consider it a deterrent,” Sgt. 1st Class John Abronski of the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, was quoted as saying.

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