Pentagon lists who's next in line for Iraq
ARLINGTON, Va. — Troops with the 25th Infantry Division headquarters now in Iraq will be extended for 46 days and the 1st Armored Division headquarters element will be heading there in August as part of troop adjustments, Defense officials said Monday.
The Wiesbaden, Germany- based 1st Armored Division troops will be among about 7,000 heading to Iraq to keep U.S. force levels at 20 brigades through August, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.
The additional troops are not expected to increase the overall “surge” of U.S. troops beyond 20 brigades, Whitman said.
“What you’re seeing here today reflects a decision that will carry the level of 20 combat teams through August (2007),” he said.
The 1st Armored Division troops along other headquarters elements will serve as replacements for headquarters units already in Iraq, Whitman said.
A number of the troops deploying will have to cut their time at home short to head downrange, Whitman said.
The troops with the 10th Mountain Division will deploy 47 days before the end of their scheduled one-year respite between combat tours, he said. Meanwhile, troops with the 4th Infantry Division Headquarters are expected to deploy in September to Iraq 81 days before the end of their year at home.
“This is a reflection that this a military that is in conflict, we have — we’re obviously using a significant portion of the force, combat units of the force, and it’s a reflection of the realities that exist right now,” Whitman said.
Whitman said reporters should not conclude from the Defense Department’s decision to deploy troops before they are finished with their time that other units are not ready to deploy to Iraq.
“I wouldn’t put it that way because I am sure there are plenty of other units that are ready to go,” he said. “These are sourcing decisions that are made though based on what makes the most sense for the next-to-deploy units.”
In addition, about 3,500 troops with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division are expected to arrive in Iraq this June.
Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that troops who have to deploy before their full time at home would be compensated, but the Defense Department has yet to announce how it plans to do so.
Whitman said the Defense Department expects to announce soon plans to compensate troops who break dwell time and who are extended.
Asked if the compensation would be retroactive if the Defense Department has still not made such an announcement by August, Whitman said, “I am sure we would do the right thing.”
Also Monday, officials announced that about 1,700 troops with Army National Guard units from Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Kansas and Georgia will deploy to Iraq this September to meet the U.S. commander in Iraq’s previously announced request for about 2,200 military police to oversee detainee operations.
To meet the rest of the general’s request, about 170 airmen are deploying as security forces and three Navy units have been extended for three months, Whitman said.
Scheduled to deploy ...
Additional units now scheduled to deploy in support of the Iraq "surge":
1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.;to arrive in June1st Armored Division Headquarters, Wiesbaden, Germany; to arrive in August4th Infantry Division Headquarters, Fort Hood, Texas; to arrive in AugustXVIII Airborne Corps Headquarters, Fort Bragg, N.C.; to arrive in NovemberAdditionally, the 25th Infantry Division headquarters already in Iraq will have its tour extended by 46 days.