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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.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.
Nine years after losing both legs in Afghanistan, he's found purpose in family, friends and inspiring others
There's a joke that Joey Jones likes to use when he feels the need to ease the tension in a room or in his own head.
To calm himself down, he uses it to remind himself of the obstacles he's had to overcome. When he faces challenges today — big or small — it brings him back to a time when the stakes were higher.
Jones will feel out a room before using the line. For nearly a decade, Jones, 33, has told his story to thousands of people, given motivational speeches to NFL teams and acted alongside a three-time Academy Award-winning actor.
On Tuesday afternoon, he stood at the front of a classroom at his alma mater, Southeast Whitfield High School in Georgia. The room was crowded with about 30 honor students.
It took about 20 minutes, but Jones started to get more comfortable as the room warmed up to him. A student asked about how he deals with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I believe in post-traumatic growth," Jones said. "That means you go through tough and difficult situations and on the back end through recovery, you learn strength."
It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.
"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.