Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Another Trip to Iraq for the 2nd and 3rd Cavalry

Received this through the association this afternoon. Since the 2nd and 3rd are two of the Army's remaining three cavalry regiments, I thought it still relevant to the theme of the blog. Both are still on continuous active service since before the Civil War, though they look a great deal differently today. The 2nd Cavalry has been relatively fortunate thus far, this is only their second trip to Iraq vice the third for the 3rd Cavalry. Godspeed and best of luck to the troopers of both regiments.

2nd Cavalry, Vilseck, Germany, Alerted for Deployment to Iraq From the New York Times (Electronic) 9 May 2007

WASHINGTON, May 8 - The Pentagon said Tuesday that it had informed an additional 35,000 soldiers that they were likely to be heading to Iraq by December, a move that would allow the Army to maintain heightened American troop levels into next year.

Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said the decision to alert the 10 Army brigades scheduled to deploy between August and December did not mean that the Bush administration had decided to extend the current reinforcement, a buildup of about 30,000 troops that is expected to be completed in June. A decision on that issue will be made in September, officials said.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and other officials have made clear that reversing the American troop buildup was among the steps that could be taken by the end of the summer if Iraq's government failed to make progress on legislation aimed at achieving reconciliation between Sunni and Shiite Arabs.

At the same time, some military officials have argued privately that it will be necessary to prolong the higher troop levels into next year in order to have any permanent effect on security.
Overall American force levels in Iraq will reach close to 160,000 when all the additional units ordered to Iraq by President Bush arrive this summer. Only three of the five additional Army brigades ordered to Iraq are now in place, with the final two scheduled to arrive over the next two months.

Mr. Whitman said a reduction of that force later this year remained a possibility. The Pentagon "has been very clear that a decision about the duration of the surge will depend on conditions on the ground," he said.

The replacement troops announced Tuesday would go to Iraq under the new Pentagon policy of sending units for 15 months at a time, though Mr. Whitman added that shorter tours were also possible if security conditions improved.

The 10 brigades identified by the Pentagon on Tuesday for deployment are the Second Stryker Cavalry Regiment from Vilseck, Germany; the Fourth Brigade, Third Infantry Division, from Fort Stewart, Ga.; the First, Second and Third Brigades of the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Ky.; the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment from Fort Hood, Tex.; the Second Brigade, First Armored Division, from Baumholder, Germany; the Fourth Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, from Fort Polk, La.; the Second Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and the First Brigade, Fourth Infantry Division, from Fort Hood, Tex.

A brigade has about 3,500 soldiers.

President Bush earlier this month vetoed an effort by the Democrat-controlled Congress to force the beginning of a phased withdrawal of American forces beginning as early as Oct. 1. But his new strategy of sending more troops has intensified the strain on the Army, leaving few combat-ready units in reserve and forcing the Army to turn increasingly to National Guard forces.

If the higher troop levels continue into 2008, the next combat units sent to Iraq are likely to be from the National Guard, officials have said.

The Army also said that close to 1,000 more support troops from the U.S. Army Reserves would deploy in August.

2nd Cavalry Association Wishes Our Brethen Godspeed and Come Home Safe! To all the men and women of the 2d Stryker Regiment your association stands behind you and your families with support and encouragement in the difficult days ahead. Do not hesitate to call on us at any time. Godspeed to you all,

The Members of the 2d Cavalry Association

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