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ARLINGTON, Va. – The Pentagon announced on Wednesday more than 6,000 soldiers from two units will rotate into Afghanistan next year, half of them as trainers for Afghan security forces.

The defense department will send 2,800 soldiers of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade into Afghanistan in spring 2010 as support for the NATO-International Security Assistance Force.

That unit is based in Fort Campbell, Ky. They would replace the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, from Fort Bragg, N.C.

Next summer, 3,300 soldiers from Fort Carson, Colo., comprising the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division, will head over to “continue the ongoing training and mentoring mission” of Afghan forces, according to a Pentagon announcement Wednesday.

The unit would replace the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division, which just arrived in Afghanistan last month, according to Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.

The announcement does not change the net number of U.S. troops slated to be in country, he said, and is a “regular rotation” unrelated to current troop level discussions at the White House stemming from commanding Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s war assessment.

By the end of the year, the U.S. is expected to have 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. In February, President Barack Obama ordered 17,000 more Marines and soldiers into Afghanistan. In March, he ordered an additional 4,000 as trainers.


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