Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pentagon Officials Announce 2010 Afghanistan Deployments

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON - Pentagon officials today announced additional replacement units scheduled to deploy next year to Afghanistan as part of the requirement to maintain the current level of security efforts there, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said today.

More than 11,000 soldiers from three units – two from the active duty Army and one from the Army National Guard -- will rotate into Afghanistan in the spring, summer and fall of 2010.

The units that received orders are:

-- 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, from Fort Campbell, Ky.;

-- 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment from Vilseck, Germany; and

-- 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa Army National Guard.

The forces will be assigned to NATO's International Security Assistance Force. Although commanders in Afghanistan haven't officially determined the regions the units will operate in, they replace brigades in eastern and southern Afghanistan.

Also, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates approved deployment orders to Afghanistan for a squadron of MV-22 Ospreys from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 from Jacksonville, N.C., at the request of commanders in Afghanistan, Whitman said.

The squadron is scheduled to deploy in November.

The squadron is made up of about 200 Marines who operate and maintain the aircraft, which have both vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. The aircraft is designed to perform missions like those of conventional helicopters, with the added benefit of long-range, high-speed cruise performance, he said.