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Services Examine, Set Afghan Troop Rotations

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2002 – President Bush has said that U.S. troops will probably be in Afghanistan for quite some time, and one of the first questions service members involved in operations in Afghanistan and environs ask is, "How long is that?"

The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines set the rotation policy for each component after consulting with U.S. Central Command officials. The services will rotate personnel and units in and out of theater.

Navy and Marine Corps personnel will rotate in and out on their normal six-month rotation, officials said. "We will change that if needed," said a Navy spokesman. "We did it already with the USS Enterprise deployment, but we want to stick with the six-month deployment rotation as much as possible."

A Marine spokesman said the Corps will try to stick to its six-month rotation, but "if (U.S. Central Command) requires a Marine expeditionary unit longer, then we'll do what the combatant commander wants."

Army and Air Force officials are studying their rotation issues and expect to announce policies soon, service officials said.

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