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Army Announces 2 New Afghanistan Troop Deployments As DoD Digs In For 2018
The Army plans on deploying the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team and 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Fort Carson, Colorado-based 4th Infantry Division to Afghanistan this coming spring, the branch announced in two separate statements on Dec. 14.
The two brigades will replace the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division and 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division respectively, according to the Army. While the new soldiers will likely arrive at the beginning of the 2018 fighting season as relief for existing combat troops, the Army said that the deployments regular troop rotation as part of Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
As a result, the two deployments are unlikely to dramatically impact existing troop levels despite the Department of Defense’s plan to increase the existing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan to as high as 18,000 troops in 2018. Indeed, the 2,2000 Fort Bragg-based 1st IBCT soldiers who the 2nd IBCT will replace in spring 2018 were quietly deployed in September 2017 as the first leg of the troop surge described by President Donald Trump in an August address on the future of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. As of Nov. 27, there are currently 15,298 U.S. combat troops in Afghanistan, according to the Defense Manpower Data Center.
The planned troop deployments also come amid a major push to position Afghan security forces to take over the bulk of counterterrorism operations: As U.S. warplanes continue to pummel militants across the country (dropping the most munitions on terror targets in August 2017 since the same month in 2012), the Army announced in October that the branch would accelerate the fielding of the security force assistance brigades to put the new elements of the branch’s “advise and assist” mission downrange by 2018 instead of 2022; on Dec. 8, the branch announced the activation of a second brigade at Fort Bragg for January 2018.
U.S. special operations forces have played an essential role in restoring stability to Afghanistan's security environment. According to a biannual DoD report to Congress released in December, U.S. Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan conducted 2,175 ground operations over six months between June and November “in which they enabled or advised” Afghanistan’s own outstanding special operations personnel.
"The 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division has a proud deployment history in support of operations in Afghanistan," said 2nd IBCT commander Col. David Zinn in a statement. "Our War Horse soldiers are trained, ready, and are honored that the Army has selected our unit for the deployment."
“Our formation of soldiers are fit, inspired, disciplined, and trained,” ist SBCT commander Monté L. Rone said. “We couldn't do this without our families and owe special thanks for their willingness to stand by our most precious resource - The American Soldier.”
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs put on leave an Atlanta-based administrator and reassigned the region's chief medical officer and seven other staff members while it investigates the treatment of a veteran under its care.
Joel Marrable's daughter discovered more than 100 ant bites on her father when she visited him in early September.
The daughter, Laquna Ross, told Channel 2 Action News: "His room had ants, the ceiling, the walls, the beds. They were everywhere. The staff member says to me, 'When we walked in here, we thought Mr. Marrable was dead. We thought he wasn't even alive, because the ants were all over him.'"
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A former U.S. Navy sailor was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday for having sexual contact with a 14-year-old Oceanside girl in 2017, federal prosecutors in San Diego said in a statement.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Known for acting on impulse, President Donald Trump has adopted an uncharacteristically go-slow approach to whether to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, showing little enthusiasm for confrontation as he seeks re-election next year.
After state-owned Saudi Aramco's plants were struck on Saturday, Trump didn't wait long to fire off a tweet that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran.
But four days later, Trump has no timetable for action. Instead, he wants to wait and see the results of investigations into what happened and is sending Pompeo to consult counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week.
That sound you're hearing is Army senior leaders exhaling a sigh of relief, because the Army has surpassed its recruiting goal for the year.
After failing to meet recruiting goals in 2018, the Army put the pedal to the metal and "did some soul searching," said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, to ensure that they'd meet their 2019 goal. It must have paid off — the service announced on Tuesday that more than 68,000 recruits have signed on as active-duty soldiers, and more soldiers have stuck around than they expected.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.
"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."