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Some 1st Armored Division components will begin moving back to the United States this summer, with the entire division moving to Fort Bliss, Texas, by 2009 or 2010, according to division commander Maj. Gen. Fred. D. Robinson Jr.

During a live, hourlong American Forces Network radio interview Wednesday morning, Robinson assured listeners that the transition would be a smooth one, with division officials planning moves around the school year and expanding housing and support facilities at Fort Bliss.

“I’m absolutely convinced this will be the best move these soldiers and families have ever had,” he said.

During the program, Robinson accidentally extended a brigade’s deployment in Iraq by two months. Robinson incorrectly said that the division’s 1st Brigade will return to Friedberg in April. The brigade’s tour in western Iraq was extended in September by 46 days. U.S. Army Europe spokesman Joe Garvey said the brigade is expected to return in February. Then, following reintegration and block leave, the brigade will be back on the job in Friedberg in April.

Robinson made few introductory comments during the call-in show, wishing listeners a happy Thanksgiving holiday and thanking soldiers and families.

During the show, he answered about 10 questions from callers in the military communities where the division is based. Most callers asked about the division’s upcoming move to Texas, and about the division’s accompanying transformation.

One caller, who identified herself as a military spouse, complained about a lack of information about the move, a charge Robinson agreed with.

“It’s just a little bit early for the details that you want to know,” he said. “... I guarantee as it gets closer ... we’ll lay out the program in more detail.”

In response to a question from a caller, he said he could not predict the division’s deployment schedule.

“I don’t know exactly when the division is going to deploy next,” he said. “I do know that we’re going to be prepared. Is it going to be this summer? I don’t think so. ... We’ll let you know as soon as we know, and we’ll keep training every day as if you were deploying tomorrow.”

Robinson closed the show by, again, thanking soldiers and their families.

“Here at Thanksgiving, I think of the many blessings I’ve received,” he said. “... I thank my lucky stars that I have the opportunity to serve with them.”

He urged listeners to keep deployed soldiers in their minds this holiday season.

“We all owe them a debt of gratitude and they are in my thoughts and prayers every day,” he said.


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