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Headquarters Elements to Deploy to Central Command

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2002 – Headquarters elements of the Army's V Corps and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force will deploy to the U.S. Central Command area of operations in the near future, spokesmen of the commands said Oct. 18.

They said the deployments are part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

V Corps, based in Heidelberg, Germany, received the deployment order about six weeks ago, its officials said. They would not say where command elements will deploy or the numbers involved.

The 1st MEF, a Marine Corps equivalent of an Army corps, is loading the sealift ship USNS Bellatrix, which is due to sail from San Diego shortly. Marine officials also declined comment about numbers and itineraries. They said the expeditionary force received the deployment order about a month ago.

"The United States is repositioning some of its military forces where required to support the global war on terrorism and to support efforts to locate and hold accountable terrorists and those who support and harbor them," DoD officials said.

At full combat strength, V Corps has the 1st Armored and 1st Infantry divisions plus a corps support command. The 1st MEF contains the 1st Marine Division, a Marine air wing and service support groups.

The elements going to Central Command are decidedly smaller than the commands' strength of roughly 45,000 troops each. Central Command officials said the headquarters elements will be like any other Central Command units once they arrive in theater. They will report to Gen. Tommy Franks via the command's coalition force land component commander.

The two headquarters will take part in Central Command's Exercise Internal Look. In November, CENTCOM will deploy a 600-man headquarters to Qatar. The exercise is slated to run for three weeks.

Officials would not speculate on possible future operations.

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