U.S. Army Paratroopers assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, along with British and Italian Army paratroopers, prepare to board a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft from the 86th Air Wing during airborne operations at Juliet Drop Zone, Pordenone, Italy Dec. 3, 2019. (U.S. Army/Paolo Bovo)

Soldiers with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team are deploying to the Middle East as part of an ongoing buildup in preparation for increased Iranian aggression in the region.

Army Col. Joe Scrocca, spokesman for U.S. Army Europe, confirmed to Task & Purpose that "elements of the 173rd Airborne Brigade deployed to ... bolster security, for force protection, and to be prepared for any contingency."

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U.S. Marines with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Sailors with Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4 conduct well deck operations aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD) 5 while underway for deployment in the Atlantic Ocean Dec. 14, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Nathan Reyes)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

A Navy amphibious assault ship with thousands of Marines on board will skip a planned training exercise in Africa to instead head toward the Middle East as tensions there spike.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew Callahan

A contingent of artillery Marines recently arrived in Syria to support friendly forces isolating Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State, according to Marine Corps Times.

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