Official: 1st AD unit in Kuwait expected to go to Iraq
May 21, 2006
ARLINGTON, Va. — Troops with the Baumholder, Germany-based 1st Armored Division 2nd Brigade are expected to be sent from Kuwait to Baghdad as the new Iraqi government is seated, according to a defense official.
Details of the movement, including timing, were not immediately available. The Associated Press reported that the official who discussed it had direct knowledge of the decision but spoke on condition of anonymity because it had not been publicly announced.
A number of sources confirmed that soldiers from 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, under the Baumholder-based 2nd Brigade Combat Team, may be going north to Iraq.
“We have no idea where they’re going,” said one source. “All we know is they’re going north.”
Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a spokesman for the Combined Press Information Center in Baghdad, declined to comment on the matter Friday.
Troops with the 1st Armored Division have been stationed in Kuwait since November as a “call-forward force,” to supplement troops in Iraq as needed.
In March, about 650 troops with the brigade were sent to Baghdad as part of Operation Scales of Justice, ahead of a major Shiite holiday.
When he spoke to reporters earlier Friday from Baghdad, Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the second-ranking general in Iraq, did not mention plans to send further reinforcements. For security reasons, the military typically does not announce such troop movements until after the forces have arrived at their destination.
Chiarelli said the key to reducing American casualties in Iraq is getting a government in place that can revive the economy and “take the angry young men off the street” and give them an alternative to violence.
“I honestly believe that as this government begins work on the policies that will be required to put people to work and make use of the vast resources of Iraq, that you’re going to see a decrease in violence,” Chiarelli, commander of Multi-National Corps Iraq, said in a video teleconference with reporters at the Defense Department’s Pentagon headquarters.
In other news, CNN reported on Friday that U.S. troops would be redeployed to the Ramadi area.
Officials declined to comment on the CNN report.