The Army will deploy an armor brigade and an aviation brigade totaling about 2,300 soldiers to Afghanistan this winter as Afghan forces struggle to contain a Taliban resurgence there, the service announced Thursday.
1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division will deploy 1,500 of its El Paso-based soldiers, roughly half the brigade’s strength, to Afghanistan, said Major Allie Payne, a brigade spokeswoman. The 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington will deploy about 800 soldiers this winter to support Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, the Army said.
In addition, the Army announced a third deployment Thursday of 3,000 soldiers from the 3rd Armored Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, to deploy to Kuwait this winter.
The 1st Brigade’s assignment is a routine deployment in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, the U.S. mission to train Afghan forces and conduct counterterrorism operations against terrorists including al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.
The unit, outfitted with Stryker troop-carrying vehicles, will focus on ‘advise and assist’ missions to strengthen the ailing Afghan security forces near the city of Bagram in the northeast portion of the country, Payne said.
Bagram Air Field, the largest U.S. military installation in Afghanistan, was the site of a Nov. 12 suicide bomb attack inside the perimeter. It killed two soldiers, Sgt. John W. Perry and Pfc. Tyler R. Iubelt. A third soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Allan E. Brown, died this week from wounds sustained in the blast.
Soldiers with the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade will help their Afghan counterparts, who are pushed to their limits in air medevac operations in the fight against the Taliban, al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.
In one week in August, medevac flights across the country recovered 125 dead Afghan troops and 280 wounded, the Washington Post reported. By comparison, the worst month for U.S. forces in Afghanistan was in August 2011, when 71 troops were killed.
There are now 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The number will drop to 8,400 by Jan. 20.
Operation Enduring Freedom, launched in 2001 to dislodge al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, was reflagged to Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in 2014 to reflect the new role for U.S. troops. NATO agreed to extend operations there beyond 2016, the U.S.-led coalition said in May.
The 3rd Armored Brigade will stay combat-ready in Kuwait, as operations continue against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested on Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina.)
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Elyse Ping Medvigy conducts a call-for-fire during an artillery shoot south of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2014. Medvigy, a fire support officer assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is the first female company fire support officer to serve in an infantry brigade combat team supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston (Photo by U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.