On August 23, 2005, the Secretary of Defense approved a request by the commander of Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) to deploy two additional infantry battalions to Iraq.
Two battalions from the 82nd Airborne Division will deploy to Iraq for an anticipated duration of approximately 120 days to support security efforts during the election period. Adjustments to troop levels in Iraq occurred prior to the transfer to Iraqi sovereignty in June 2004 and during the January Iraqi elections.
These troops will join 180,000 Iraqi security forces and 138,000 coalition forces in helping set the security conditions for successful elections.
Gen. Caseys request for this additional capability was made in close consultation with, and with the support of, the Iraqi government. This approved request temporarily adds an additional 1,500 active duty soldiers to the troop level in Iraq.
This decision follows a decision in July 2005 to deploy a battalion to Afghanistan in support of security efforts during the upcoming September elections.
Commanders continue to assess security conditions, and additional adjustments to troop levels for the elections are possible.