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BAUMHOLDER, Germany — Spc. Paul Michael was planning to be out of the Army by this time next year. Instead he’ll be back in Iraq.

“Of course I want to get out as soon as I can. But this is my job. You just hope for the best and put your faith in the Lord,” said Michael, a 25-year-old scout with the 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment in Baumholder.

The Department of Defense on Tuesday announced the next 10 Army brigade combat teams to deploy to Iraq. Soldiers from the 1st Armored Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team out of Baumholder will be among the 35,000 troops slated for a potential 15-month tour.

The 2nd BCT is scheduled to deploy in November, one year after its last deployment.

“People were expecting next year,” Michael said.

The brigade suffered 28 combat deaths during the previous deployment, which soldiers said was much different than the brigade’s first tour that lasted from April 2003 to July 2004.

“The 2BCT, 1AD is a battle-tested, combat-proven force that is poised and ready to execute any mission, anywhere, at any time,” Maj. Peggy Kageleiry, 1st AD spokeswoman, said in a statement. “The 2BCT, 1AD remains focused on honing war-fighting skills at every level — from the individual to regiment.”

Soldiers on Tuesday said they’re ready to deploy.

“This is what I signed up to do,” said Pvt. Gary Stark, 19, of the 40th Engineer Battalion.

Stark, who arrived in Baumholder four months ago, said he’s eager to go.

Pfc. Mark Hedrick, of the 1-35, said he was expecting a November deployment.

“This is my first time going. I’m a little nervous, a little excited,” said Hedrick, 20.

For Hedrick, the main fear is breaking the news to his mother back in Delaware.

“I haven’t told her yet,” he said.

Pvt. Trevor Trepanier, 20, says the sooner the better.

“When I signed up I knew I was going,” he said. “The later I go, the longer I have to stay in Germany.”

As word of the looming deployment spread, Michael said some of his fellow soldiers were upset, particularly those planning to leave the Army in late 2007 and 2008. Instead, they’ll be doing another full tour in Iraq.

“Some guys were very disgruntled,” Michael said.

Everyone, though, is ready to do his or her job, Michael said.

Europe deployments

The 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Vilseck, and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, headquartered in Baumholder, will deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Units deploying with the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment include:

Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2SCR1st Squadron2nd Squadron3rd Squadron4th SquadronFires SquadronRegimental Support SquadronEngineer TroopAnti-Armor TroopSignal TroopMilitary Intelligence TroopUnits deploying with 2nd BCT, 1st Armored Division include:

Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BCT1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment47th Combat Support BattalionSpecial Troops Battalion, 2nd BCTFire Support Battalion, 2nd BCT40th Engineer BattalionG Troop, 1st Cavalry Regiment502nd Military Intelligence Company589th Signal CompanySource: Headquarters U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

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