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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. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.
In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump gave a minute-to-minute account of the U.S. drone strikes that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in remarks to a Republican fund-raising dinner on Friday night, according to audio obtained by CNN.
With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Two immigrants, a pastor and an Army sergeant have been convicted of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud as part of an illegal immigration scheme, according to federal prosecutors.
Rajesh Ramcharan, 45; Diann Ramcharan, 37; Sgt. Galima Murry, 31; and the Rev. Ken Harvell, 60, were found guilty Thursday after a nine-day jury trial, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Colorado.
The conspiracy involved obtaining immigration benefits for Rajesh Ramcharan, Diann Ramcharan, and one of their minor children, the release said. A married couple in 2007 came to the U.S. from Trinidad and Tobago on visitor visas. They overstayed the visas and settled in Colorado.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday it was sending to Ukraine the black boxes from a Ukrainian passenger plane that the Iranian military shot down this month, an accident that sparked unrest at home and added to pressure on Tehran from abroad.
Iran's Tasnim news agency also reported the authorities were prepared for experts from France, Canada and the United States to examine information from the data and voice recorders of the Ukraine International Airlines plane that came down on Jan. 8.
The plane disaster, in which all 176 aboard were killed, has added to international pressure on Iran as it grapples with a long running row with the United States over its nuclear program that briefly erupted into open conflict this month.