Trump sending more US troops to Iraq

Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, on patrol during a previous Middle-East deployment.

About 2,100 soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana will deploy to Iraq in fall 2017 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

Third Brigade will be the first brigade-sized unit to deploy under the Associated Units Pilot Program.

Operation Inherent Resolve is the U.S. military’s operational name for the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, including both the campaign in Iraq and the campaign in Syria.

More than 4,300 Americans died fighting in Iraq since May 1st, 2003, when President George W. Bush declared the end to major combat operations there.

As part of the Army Total Force, 3rd Brigade has served with the 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard since March 2016.

“The significant impact we’re making as a division crosses state lines, oceans and international borders.

Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt. (Photo: U.S. Army public affairs)

With the enhanced integration of active/reserve components, we’re building a better and stronger team that will enable us to fight our nation’s wars. We wish the 3rd Brigade well and a safe return to their families,” said Maj. Gen. S. Lee Henry, commanding general of the 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard.

“During the last several months, the Patriots have worked hard and completed multiple training events to include a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation in preparation for this important mission,” said Maj. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, commander of the 10th Mountain Division. “I am extremely confident and proud of the entire 3rd Brigade Team.”

The Pentagon named Maj. Gen. Walter E. Piatt as the commander of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum on April 27. Piatt is a former deputy commander of the division and director of operations of the Army Rapid Capabilities Office in Washington.

“[Piatt] is a battle-tested warfighter with extensive operational experience,” said Gen. Robert Abrams, commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command.  “He knows what it takes to ensure our Soldiers and units are ready for whatever mission they are given. Walt has a passion for soldiers and families, and I am confident he will continue to elevate this division to new heights.”

The Associated Units Pilot Program is a multi-year test of a new concept to increase readiness and responsiveness of the Army as a total force. The pilot leverages the Secretary of the Army’s authority to associate units of the Reserve Components (Army Reserve and Army National Guard) with active component units for training oversight prior to mobilization.

The pilot program will last for three years and after that time an assessment will be made to decide how the program could expand. The first formations will begin execution of the strategy in June 2016, with increased collective training beginning in fiscal year 2017.

The pilot will run through 2019, and Army leaders will assess the effectiveness of employing associated units in improving force generation to fully leverage the total force in meeting current and contingency demands. The Department of the Army will apply lessons learned and may direct the transition to full implementation of the associated unit program in 2020 and beyond.

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