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Thursday, January 25, 2007

America's 'Ready' Brigade Not So Ready Due to Deployment Stress

From the Associated Press:

The four brigades in the Army‘s 82nd Airborne Division usually rotate the role of the nation‘s "ready" brigade, prepared to leave for anywhere in the world within 18 hours. But this summer, the 82nd may be forced to briefly give up its role as the home of the nation‘s quick-reaction force. It‘s the latest example of how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are pushing the Army to its limits. ...

The division‘s 3rd Brigade is now in Iraq. The 2nd Brigade was sent to Kuwait to move to Iraq, making it the only unit fulfilling President Bush‘s order to send an extra 21,500 troops to Iraq that had not been previously scheduled to serve there this year. But the 1st Brigade is scheduled to leave for Iraq this summer, around the time the 3rd Brigade returns.

"The reason we have a light, air-mobile force is to go anywhere fast, and you can‘t do that when you‘re committed to a theater of conflict," Thompson said.

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