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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 477-04
May 18, 2004

SECDEF Approves Iraq Deployment

The secretary of defense has announced the decision to deploy the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Divisions approximately 3,600 service members in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The deployment is expected to start later this summer.

This decision supports the military requirement to meet operational commitments in Iraq. The Department of Defense will maintain its commitment to the defense of Korea and to the security and stability of the region.

These forces are part of the announced phased rotations being conducted this year into and out of the Central Command area of operations. The deployment will maintain the stabilized U.S. troop strength in Iraq at about 138,000.

The Department of Defense will continue to release information regarding the deployment of units in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom as they are identified.