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U.S. Central Command Build-up Continues

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2003 – The U.S. military build-up in the U.S. Central Command area of operations continues, with more than 100,000 troops now serving in the region, DoD officials said.

The CENTCOM region sprawls from Kazakhstan to Kenya. The troop total includes some 9,000 personnel involved in operations in Afghanistan and thousands of others deployed to countries around that theater of operations, the officials said.

The largest Army unit to deploy to the area is the 3rd Infantry Division out of Forts Stewart and Benning in Georgia. That unit is in Kuwait. Other Army units, most notably the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, have received deployment orders.

There are 35,000 Marines in the area of operations. The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force has 15,000 Marines in Kuwait. Roughly 7,200 Marines are aboard Amphibious Task Force East, and 5,000 others are aboard the Amphibious Task Force West. Thousands of sailors man the ships carrying the Marines.

The Navy has deployed the USS Constellation and USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle groups to the Central Command area of operations. They're in the Arabian Sea area and are part of Central Command's 5th Fleet. Each group has 8,500 to 10,000 sailors aboard. The USS Harry S. Truman carrier battle group is in the Mediterranean Sea as part of 6th Fleet in the U.S. European Command area of operations.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt has finished training in the Caribbean and is transiting in support of the global war on terrorism, Navy officials said.

The Air Force has deployed 17,850 airmen to the region. Of those, 1,725 are Air National Guardsmen and 625 are Air Force Reserve members. Air Force officials would not comment on the types and number of aircraft deployed to the region.

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