The Army announced on August 5th that it plans to deploy about 400 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) to Iraq this summer. The troops are part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky. They will be joining with an estimated 1300 soldiers from their unit that are already there. The mission is to help aid the Iraqi Security Forces as they plan for an offensive assault to take back the city of Mosul from ISIS forces that have been holding the city hostage.
Lt. Col. Eric Lopez, who is the 2nd Brigade Combat Team’s provisional brigade commander, said recently: “We call these soldiers the Strike Ready Force. They have remained prepared to deploy and join the team in Iraq at a moment’s notice. These soldiers are trained and ready to join the fight.”
President Obama has said that he plans to add 560 more US troops to the current force in Iraq, bringing the level up to 4,657 US military personnel stationed in the area. This deployment is part of that action, but it should be noted that none of the 560 promised additional troops have arrived in Iraq as of last week.
A spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, Army Col. Chris Garver, said in a Pentagon briefing last week that those arriving in Iraq will be stationed about 40 miles from Mosul in a base that Iraqi Security Forces retook from ISIS. The troops will be used to get the base back into working order.
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