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Pentagon puts 6,050 Fort Riley soldiers on alert for Iraq
Cat : New Cons
Date : 2006-11-18 11:28:05                      Reader : 312

hidden agenda of Israel till the end of his term. So terrorism is expected to increase , and Nazis of Israel will continues their crimes in Palestine and Lebanon. But God is for all, not only Republicans and Israel !!


Google News 18/11/2006

Pentagon puts 6,050 Fort Riley soldiers on alert for Iraq


TOPEKA, Kan. - More than 6,000 Fort Riley soldiers have been told they're going to Iraq next year, the Pentagon announced Friday.

The bulk of the soldiers are from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division and the Combat Aviation Brigade, comprised of combat and support helicopter units. No exact date for the deployments has been announced.

In all, the Pentagon announced that 20,000 active duty soldiers from six Army brigades are scheduled to deploy to Iraq. Another 20,000 active duty and 10,000 reserve soldiers were also put on alert, all in units smaller than a brigade that will support combat operations.

Currently, more than 140,000 U.S. service members are in Iraq fighting the war that began in 2003 and has claimed more than 2,850 lives.

An officer from Fort Leavenworth's Command and General Staff College was among the latest deaths. The Pentagon said Col. Thomas H. Felts Sr., 45, of Sandston, Va., was killed Tuesday by a roadside bomb. Felts was a team leader serving as an adviser to the Iraqi military.

Felts was the first colonel to be killed in Iraq since the war began, making him the highest-ranking officer to die there. William W. Wood, 44, who was killed in Iraq in October 2005, had been approved for promotion to colonel, but at the time of his death he was a lieutenant colonel.

Also killed with Felts was Army Spc. Justin Garcia, 26, of Elmhurst, N.Y.

The deployment announcement came the same day a new Associate Press-Ipsos poll found only 31 percent approval of President Bush's handling of the war, down from 36 percent a month ago. The numbers highlight the pressure on the Iraq Study Group, led by former Secretary of State James Baker III, to devise an exit strategy for bringing home the troops amid growing violence.

The 4th Brigade, a light infantry unit that can mount air assaults, has been training for a possible Iraq deployment for the past few weeks at Fort Irwin, Calif. Approximately 3,000 soldiers are expected back at Fort Riley by the end of November.

Alison Kohler, spokeswoman for Fort Riley, said the deployments had been anticipated for more than a year when the Army announced more soldiers would be stationed at the post. The 4th Brigade was activated in January and expected to be at full-strength by year's end.

"We knew that when they were standing up the brigade once they reached their full strength they would have to deploy," Kohler said.

The aviation brigade has about 40 helicopters at Fort Riley and half of the 2,600 soldiers expected to deploy to Iraq.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas National Guard didn't know whether Friday's announcement would involve any units from the state. However, Sharon Watson said 180 soldiers from the 731st Transportation Company based in Larned already had planned to leave Nov. 26 for Iraq.

While no date was given for the Fort Riley soldiers, the deployment will reduce the number of soldiers at the post by almost half. Fort Riley has about 12,500 soldiers, but that number will grow to 18,300 in the coming years as part of the 1st Infantry Division's return to Kansas from 10 years in Germany.

Other Fort Riley support units identified for Iraq were 250 soldiers from the Headquarters of the 1st Division Sustainment Brigade, 150 soldiers of the 24th Transportation Company - its third trip to Iraq - and 50 soldiers from a heavy equipment transportation detachment.

Part of the 1st Infantry Division is still in Iraq. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, based in Germany, is on its own one-year tour. The 2nd Brigade eventually will be assigned to Fort Riley.

Meanwhile, units with 1st Infantry continue to train U.S. forces at Fort Riley to be transition team members - Felts' duty in Iraq. The units of 10 to 12 soldiers receive 60 days of training at the post before spending a year in Iraq helping the military and police become proficient in providing security. Some teams also are deploying for similar duty in Afghanistan.



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