The deployment will include elements of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, which is based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. About 1,700 soldiers from the same unit are overseas now, spread between Iraq and Kuwait. They’re focused on the U.S.-led effort to train and assist the Iraqi troops doing much of the fighting against ISIS there.
These new personnel, however, will be “postured there to do all things Mosul, Raqqa, all in between,” Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations, told House lawmakers Wednesday. He was referring to the Islamic State’s two main strongholds: Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, major urban centers where U.S.-back allies are fighting a well entrenched enemy.
“So the whole brigade will now be forward,” Anderson said.
It’s unclear when this new wave of paratroopers will deploy. Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, an 82nd Airborne Division spokesman, referred additional questions to the U.S. military command in Baghdad. Officials there did not immediately respond to Military Times’ request seeking additional details.
All told, the 82nd Airborne’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team includes about 4,400 soldiers who compose infantry, artillery and cavalry units, plus their supply pipeline.