Skip to comments.U.S. Army extends Iraq duty for 4,000
Posted on 09/25/2006 8:49:55 AM PDT by TexKat
WASHINGTON - In a new sign of mounting strain from the war in Iraq, the Army has extended the combat tours of about 4,000 soldiers who would otherwise be returning home, defense officials said Monday.
The 1st Brigade of 1st Armored Division, which is operating in the vicinity of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, will be kept in place for several weeks beyond its scheduled departure, the officials said. The officials spoke only on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been formally announced by the Pentagon.
The brigade's home base is in Germany. The soldiers' families were notified on Monday that instead of going home in early January as scheduled, the brigade would be kept in Iraq until February an extension of about six weeks, one of the officials said. Army officials also have notified members of Congress.
The brigade has about 4,000 soldiers in Iraq. They are not the first to be extended.
In late July the Army extended the Iraq tour of the Alaska-based 172nd Stryker Brigade. About 300 soldiers from that unit had already returned home and were required to go back to Iraq. The brigade is now operating in Baghdad.
The reasons for these extensions are different, but they both reflect the fact that the Army is hard pressed now to maintain rotations for Iraq and Afghanistan at the current pace. The 172nd was extended by four months in order to strengthen U.S. forces in Baghdad, where commanders are trying to avert a full-scale civil war.
The 1st Brigade of the 1st Armored Division was extended in order to allow its replacement unit, the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, a minimum 12 months between overseas tours, the official said. The 3rd Infantry has already served two tours in Iraq, including the initial invasion of the country in March 2003.
Last week, the top American commander in the region said the U.S. military is likely to maintain and may even increase its force of more than 140,000 troops in Iraq through next spring. Gen. John Abizaid, commander of the U.S. Central Command, said military leaders would consider adding troops or extending the Iraq deployments of other units if needed.
Until sectarian violence spiked early this year, Bush administration officials had voiced hopes that this election year would see significant U.S. troop reductions in what has become a widely unpopular war.
The Army has a stated goal of giving active-duty soldiers two years at home between overseas combat tours, but it is unable to achieve that "dwell time," as the Army calls, because it does not have enough brigades to meet the demands of simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would not be a problem now if the situation in Iraq had improved enough to allow the Army to reduce its presence as originally planned.
Army Secretary Francis Harvey told The Associated Press last week that the amount of time between deployments has shrunk this year from 18 months to 14 months. In the case of the 3rd Infantry, it appears at least one brigade will get only about 12 months because it is heading for Iraq to replace the extended brigade of the 1st Armored.
AP is an organization to which thousands of freelance journalists belong. Telling the AP to do something is like telling the NBA that the Clippers made a terrible draft pick.
And your point is? We shouldn't hold them to a standard because they are big??
BTW - welcome to FR.
The news media doesn't know the difference. Ugh!
2 senior commanders in Iraq reassigned
WASHINGTON - Two of the Army's top commanders in Iraq have been selected for new assignments.
The second-in-command in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, will become a special assistant to the commander of Central Command with responsibility for developing the military capabilities of nations in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Chiarelli is due to be replaced in Iraq by Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno when Odierno becomes commander of Multi-National Corps-Iraq early next year. Chiarelli had previously commanded the 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq.
Also moving on from Iraq will be Maj. Gen. James D. Thurman, the 4th Infantry Division commander, who has been chosen for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as commander of 5th Corps, the Army's top organization in Europe. Thurman currently is commanding all forces in the Baghdad area.
The 4th Infantry is due to be replaced in Iraq by the 1st Cavalry Division in mid-November.
Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who served a tumultuous year in Iraq as 5th Corps commander in 2003-04, relinquished command on Sept. 6 and is retiring soon, according to the U.S. Army Europe Web site. Sanchez had been a candidate to become the next commander of U.S. Southern Command but was passed over after the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal exploded into an international controversy. Sanchez has not been accused of any misconduct but has been criticized by some for not doing more to avoid mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners.
There has been no announcement about the next assignment for the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, but he has indicated in recent months that he may not stay much beyond the end of this year.
Also unclear is the future of Gen. John Abizaid, the top commander for U.S. troops throughout the Middle East.
Thank you for the painful message of realization that we are indeed in pitch battle in a new type of "world war"...one in which conventional military methods and tactics and even definitions fail us. But one in which the pain and suffering and gruesome losses are nevertheless all too real.
And this one has liberal idiots in pitch battle to discredit our leadership, our sincerety and, at the same time, disregard that Russia ,China, and most all Muslim nations as well as virtually all UN countries are in it against us along with our disloyal MSM.
Terrorist propaganda continues to pit our citizens against each other and divide our government leaders to the point of paralysis and no alterrnative agenda other than surrender and ultimate defeat by an enemy who has sworn to slaughter every man woman an child of us in a genocide of a scale never recorded before.
It your'e a little uncomfortable about all this you are probably among the few sane Americans left.
I'm stupified and can't believe a rational person would think such a thing is possible - - let alone suggest it be attempted.
well they at least didn't have to announce it. Tell the people who needed to know, and let the media find out for themselves. The MSM is so lazy they probably never would have , if they didn't have a press release.
If you've served in the military you're aware of the importance of building trust up and down the chain of command. What you propose would only break that trust, and morale would end up in the crapper.
Yes, that's a great idea you have there. /sarc
In addition to what leadpenny said...
The info would have leaked out one way or the other guaranteed. In past instances of this type of thing I've seen spouses/parents of military personnel complaining on tv/in print when this happens (& why, oh why, their spouse/child doesn't tell them to not do any such thing before they do it or if they do their relatives don't listen to them, I have no idea) or some anti-war nut-job/nut-org that keeps track of deployments notices that personnel that were scheduled to be back aren't back & then tells MSM. And the longer it was kept on the QT the greater the chances of MSM yelling "cover-up" or some such. "Hiding" this type of thing is usually not a good idea.
Yes in the "generic" sense Marines are soldiers, however, a Marine should always be called a Marine.
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