Local News

Bragg troops rerouted to Afghanistan

Posted April 3, 2009 11:26 a.m. EDT
Updated April 3, 2009 1:39 p.m. EDT

— A brigade of the North Carolina-based 82nd Airborne Division that had been ordered to Iraq instead will be sent to Afghanistan as part of a mission to train that country's forces, the military said Friday.

The Department of Defense said 3,300 paratroopers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team at Fort Bragg will deploy in the spring and through the summer. The announcement said 700 other soldiers also will be deployed.

The soldiers will be assigned "to the ongoing training and mentoring mission in Afghanistan," the Pentagon statement said.

That brigade had been scheduled to deploy to Iraq this summer and currently is at the military's Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, La., preparing for deployment.

Soldiers in the brigade, which is the newest part of the 82nd, already have been to Afghanistan.

"Our combat advice and experience in counterinsurgency, coupled with their knowledge of the terrain and the enemy makes for an unbeatable combination," brigade commander Col. Brian Drinkwine said in a statement released by the division.

Drinkwine said the brigade will work closely with the Afghan National Security Forces to make it "the best possible force they can be and a formidable security force against any foe."

The colonel also said the brigade, like others in the famed airborne division, are always prepared for a change in mission.