Two U.S. Army combat aviation brigades are deploying overseas this month, the Army said.
The 82nd Airborne Division Combat Aviation Brigade is deploying to U.S. Central Command in the Middle East. 1st Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade is in turn heading to Europe. Both deployments are part of the U.S. Army’s regular rotation of forces. However, both brigades are heading to regions in conflict or escalating tensions.
The 82nd Airborne will be replacing the 185th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, Mississippi Army National Guard, which is rotating out.
This summer the U.S. military has been steadily reinforcing military assets in the Middle East and around the Strait of Hormuz, a major shipping route for oil out of the region. The Pentagon has sent F-16 and F-35 fighter jets, Navy ships and a Marine Expeditionary Unit there in recent months, as part of efforts to deter what the Department of Defense says are repeated efforts by Iran to harass or seize oil tankers passing through the Strait of Hormuz. There are reports, which the Pentagon has neither confirmed nor denied, that Marines with the 26th MEU are currently training in Bahrain to serve as security teams onboard commercial ships.
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Meanwhile the 1st Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade will deploy to Europe “to support the United States’ commitment to NATO allies and partners,” according to the Army. It was previously deployed to Eastern Europe in 2021. It will be replacing the 3rd Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade, and is arriving as the war in Ukraine stretches into the back half of its second year. U.S. troops have been rotating in Europe and training with NATO partner nations as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
“The 1st Combat Aviation Brigade has some of the Army’s best Soldiers and Aviators. We have trained diligently over the past year in preparation for our deployment,” Col. Chad Corrigan, commander of the 1st Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade, said in a statement. “The Demon Brigade is more than ready to deploy to support this mission and continue to strengthen our established relationships with our European Allies and partners.”
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