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Iraq Deployment Extensions

A picture released by the US military, 30 March 2007 shows Spc. Dean Goble peering through his rifle scope for signs of suspicious activity at an observation point in Diyala, Iraq, 19 March 2007 during a reconnaissance mission. The mission is to prevent the placing of IEDs on Main Supply Route Tampa. Goble is a forward observer with Company C, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Pamela Hess
UPI Pentagon Correspondent
Washington (UPI) April 06, 2007
The Pentagon announced Monday about 1,000 troops with the 25th Infantry Division will have their current deployment in Iraq extended by 45 days.

It also announced two units that will return to Iraq in 2007 with less than a year of rest and reset time since their last Iraq deployment.

The 4th ID will return to Iraq just nine months after it returned from its 2005-2006 deployment.

The 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division completed its latest Iraq deployment in August 2006. It will return to Iraq after less than 11 months of rest and reset.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has made it policy that military units should get at least a year at home to rest, re-train, repair their equipment and be with their families before being deployed again. However, the requirement for troops in Iraq, especially with an additional 30,000 being deployed on an accelerated basis for the Baghdad security plan, makes that schedule difficult to keep.

The extended 25th ID is deployed in northern Iraq, including in Mosul and Kirkuk. The division deployed in July 2006 and will now not arrive back to Schofield Barracks, HI, until late September. The 1,000 troops being held over are the headquarters element and associated soldiers.

The Pentagon Monday announced the next regular rotation of 7,000 troops going to Iraq, including the 18th Airborne Corps Headquarters, Fort Bragg, N.C.; 1st Armored Division Headquarters, Wiesbaden, Germany; 4th Infantry Division Headquarters, Fort Hood, Texas, and the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

The 18th Airborne Corps Headquarters will take over the Multi-National Corps-Iraq headquarters, replacing the III Corps, Fort Hood in November 2007. The 18th Airborne headed MNC-I from February 2005 to February 2006.

Both the 1st Armored Division Headquarters and the 4th Infantry Division Headquarters will deploy in August 2007.

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., is also affected by Monday's announcement. It was the first unit called forward from Kuwait as part of the surge. It deployed from Fort Bragg in early January 2007 and will complete 12 months deployment and return in January 2008. It was originally expected to return to the United States in September.

The Army is also contributing 2,000 additional combat support troops, including the headquarters element of 214th Fires Brigade from Fort Sill, Okla. It will deploy at the end of April.

The Army National Guard will send headquarters and line batteries from the 181st Field Artillery Battalion, 145th Field Artillery Battalion and the 131st Field Artillery Battalion, from Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Kansas, and Georgia. They will deploy in September.

The U.S. military now has more than 145,000 troops in Iraq and is moving to build the force to over 165,000 for the Baghdad security plan, as well as to bulwark security operations in Anbar province.

U.S. officials are planning a range of options to maintain the increase, from late summer through early spring 2008 in an attempt -- probably the last, best chance -- to quell the violence long enough in Iraq for the nascent government to address some of the underlying causes of the conflict, including an oil wealth sharing law, de-Baathification reform, new provincial elections and a constitutional amendment process.

Both houses of Congress last month passed Iraq spending bills that require the withdrawal of an unspecified number of U.S. troops from the war beginning, variously in October 2007 or March 2008, depending on conditions on the ground.

Both bills, which President George W. Bush has vowed to veto, leave the president wide discretion to determine how many troops will be withdrawn and when.

Source: United Press International

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Bush Delays Also Slowed Down War Funding
Washington (UPI) April 06, 2007
U.S. President George W. Bush is framing the standoff with Congress over funding the Iraq war as a matter of supporting the troops. "Democrat leaders in Congress seem more interested in fighting political battles in Washington than in providing our troops what they need to fight the battles in Iraq," he said Tuesday in a Rose garden press conference.

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