18th Airborne Corps deploys to coordinate fight against ISIS in Iraq, Syria
Posted August 3, 2016 7:07 p.m. EDT
Fort Bragg, N.C. — Soldiers with the 18th Airborne Corps said goodbye Tuesday to loved ones as they prepared to deploy to Kuwait.
The unit will not be involved in any direct combat, but will coordinate the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
"We're going to be getting after ISIS," said Lieutenant Colonel Sean Heidgerken. "We're going to be going after them with everything we've got, both lethal and non-lethally, so that we can put an end to the threat to the world that ISIS presents."
The troops, including Fort Bragg's commanding general, will lead the 60-nation coalition force that is already fighting ISIS on the ground in Iraq and Syria.
"It's important because it is in their backyard. They have to win the fight," said Capt. Ben Neterer. "They have to step up and really be the face of the win. It's important for the region, and it's important to their people to see them stepping up to the fight and getting it done."
Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited with the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg last week. He told them a win by local - not U.S. - forces, would improve the chance that the victory will stick.
"So going and getting where they are before they can metastasize and spread throughout the rest of the world to a large extent is really what we're all about," Carter said.