State News

82nd Airborne Brigade To Deploy to Kuwait

Posted December 26, 2006
Updated December 27, 2006

— Defense Secretary Robert Gates has signed orders that will send the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade to Kuwait shortly after the new year, senior defense officials said Tuesday.

The decision to send the unit was first reported earlier this month. The soldiers, who are based at Fort Bragg, N.C., are expected to be deployed into Iraq early next year, and the move could be part of a short-term surge of troops to the battlefront to quell the ongoing violence.

The 82nd Airborne's Second Brigade Combat Team, which would include as many as 3,300 soldiers, will replace the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which had served as the reserve force based in Kuwait but has been deployed into Iraq.

Army officials said Tuesday that they were not aware a final decision had been made on sending the unit to Kuwait. But two senior defense officials, who requested anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made public, said Gates had signed the order Tuesday—the first of his week-old tenure as Pentagon chief.

"It pretty much came out of the blue," said Jennifer Taylor, whose husband, Jarred Taylor, is a  Joint Terminal Attack Controller for the Air Force who works with the 82nd Airborne. "It was expected later. Then (Wednesday), we just found out it was way sooner."

One Army official said the Fort Bragg troops' tour could last about six months. Some in the brigade returned from Iraq this month.

About 10,300 Fort Bragg troops are already deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another brigade from the 82nd Airborne is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in early 2007.

Gates, who replaced former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Dec. 18, was in Iraq last week meeting with U.S. military commanders and Iraqi officials.

He met with President Bush on Saturday to relay what he saw and learned during his three days in Iraq. He is scheduled to travel to Crawford, Texas, to meet with Bush on Thursday to discuss options for changes in the Iraq strategy. He and other military leaders have said that all options are on the table. Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will also meet with Bush on Thursday.

Some of the options for a new strategy in Iraq that have been under discussion by U.S. officials include an increase in troops, to help tamp down the violence, particularly in Baghdad, and to beef up the training of Iraq soldiers.

There are 134,000 troops in Iraq. The U.S. military has consistently kept a reserve force in Kuwait that can easily and quickly be deployed into Iraq, or other places in the region, as needed.


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  • erstamey Dec 28, 2006

    war is a hell!! I just wished that it had to be a law that any
    body that served in a public offices that would have to would have severd in the armed services
    Just maybe we could see some thing new besides our armed forces comehome in body bags or so messed up in ths heads they dont need this

  • erstamey Dec 28, 2006

    to go and get the job done !bless ours troops let each and every one come home safe and sound

  • ifcdirector Dec 28, 2006

    To President Bush and everyone ignoring the fact that we should not even be in this country why don't you do the real patriotic/religious deed and call for them to come back home. We have zero business in any foreign country unless that country has attacked the United States. Our troops are not defending our country but what they are being compelled to do, unconstitutionally by the federal government, is enforce United Nations edicts against Sadaam Hussein. Since when does our Constitution take a back seat to the dictates of the UN? People had better wake up and realize that the United States was never created by the Founding Father's to be the world's police force. Now thousands of dead later and hundreds of billions of our tax dollars down the hole people are starting to realize this is far too heavy a price to pay to veer far, far off course from what our Founding Fathers intended for our nation and we have not avoided foreign entanglements which was George Washington's admonition.

  • bca37jr Dec 27, 2006

    God Bless you all of you troops in your endeavors with the war efforts.
    Retired Airman

  • LibertarianTechie Dec 27, 2006

    To everyone in the unit, come back home alive!