The Stryker Brigade Combat Team from Hawai’i will be deployed to the occupation of Iraq. Malu ‘Aina is organizing a demonstration against the Stryker training at Pohakuloa on Hawai’i island.
Updated at 3:20 p.m., Thursday, October 8, 2009
Stryker team at Schofield will deploy to Iraq
By William Cole
Advertiser Military Writer
The Pentagon today announced it is ordering the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Schofield Barracks back to Iraq amid plans by the U.S. to wind down its presence in the country and as increasing attention is focused on the dilemma of a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan.
The announcement for the next Iraq rotation involves three brigade combat teams, and one armored cavalry regiment totaling approximately 15,000 personnel, the Pentagon said.
The scheduled rotation for the forces will begin in the summer of 2010.
The 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division based out of Fort Lewis, Wash., was the first Army unit to deploy to Afghanistan with the eight-wheeled Stryker vehicles. Sixteen soldiers from the brigade have died since it deployed in July.
The 4,300 soldiers with Hawaii’s Stryker Brigade returned in February and March from 15 months in northern Baghdad, Taji, Tarmiyah and Abu Ghraib. The brigade has about 400 of the 19-ton Stryker armored vehicles.
About 123,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq. President Obama has ordered all combat troops to be out of Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010. As many as 50,000 noncombat troops could stay to train and advise Iraqi forces until the end of 2011.
U.S. troop levels in Iraq are expected to be at 120,000 by the end of the month, with 110,000 in the country at the end of 2009.
Violence has decreased in Iraq, from a high of 1,600 attacks in 2007 a week to less than 200 a week now, the Associated Press reported.
The units also receiving Iraq deployment orders to Iraq include:
- The 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
- The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas.
- The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Two large Schofield contingents are now returning from Iraq. The 3rd Brigade with about 3,500 soldiers has mostly returned to Hawaii, while about 1,000 soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division headquarters are expected back into November.
In August, some 2,400 troops with the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade left on a yearlong deployment to northern Iraq. The brigade sent nearly 100 helicopters on the deployment.
Reach William Cole at email@example.com.