Local News

Biden to greet returning troops at Bragg

Posted April 6, 2009 10:29 a.m. EDT
Updated April 6, 2009 4:03 p.m. EDT

— Vice President Joe Biden and his wife plan to visit Fort Bragg Wednesday to welcome the XVIII Airborne Corps on its return from Iraq.

The XVIII Airborne Corps assumed command of Multi-National Corps-Iraq on Feb. 14, 2008. As the operational headquarters for more than 158,000 ground troops assigned to three Army Divisions, one Marine Expeditionary Force, three Coalition Divisions and several separate brigades, the corps’ mission was to defeat extremist groups, provide security for the Iraqi people and to develop the Iraqi Security Forces and the Iraqi Government’s capacity.

The corps, which has been deployed to Iraq twice since 2006, completed its mission on Saturday, relinquishing command of Multi-National Corps-Iraq to I Corps of Fort Lewis, Wash.

About 900 soldiers have returned to Fort Bragg over the past two weeks, and XVIII Airborne Corps commander Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin returned on Sunday.

Biden's visit will be his second trip to North Carolina in a week. Last Wednesday, he stopped in Duplin and Wayne counties to demonstrate how the federal economic stimulus program is benefiting rural communities.