Fresh Troops Tabbed for Iraq, Afghanistan Deployment
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2004 The Defense Department today identified fresh troop units that will deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan between 2005 and 2006.
Some of the troops will be used to maintain a force level of about 138,000 service members in Iraq, DoD spokesman Larry Di Rita said at a Pentagon news briefing.
Those, he noted, don't include the 12,000 additional forces deployed to assist security for the Iraqi elections in January. "We're going to be at the current force level through the (Iraqi) elections," Di Rita told reporters.
The fresh troops deployed to Iraq will be used "to maintain this brigade structure that we're currently holding," Di Rita said, which consists of 17 brigades and three division headquarters.
The first new units earmarked for Iraq are slated to arrive in mid-2005, while other units are slated to deploy there at various times through mid-2006.
Other fresh U.S. troops will be deployed to Afghanistan to maintain the current force level of three brigades and a division headquarters. There are now about 18,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
The first units deploying to Afghanistan also are slated to arrive in mid-2005. Successive units will deploy at different times through mid-2006.
However, Di Rita noted, field commanders and the Pentagon "could very well decide that while these units have been identified, we don't need them." The new rotations, he pointed out, represent "prudent planning to identify those units so that we can then continue the assessment that will determine what the actual (troop) level might be."
A list of units identified for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan is available in a DoD news release titled "DoD Announces OEF/OIF Rotational Units" on the department's Web site.