1st Armored Division, 82nd Airborne set to deploy to Iraq for fight against ISIS

Soldiers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, get a Stryker ready for use in training during the unit’s annual gunnery Table IV at Doña Ana Range Complex, N.M., March 16, 2017.

The Department of the Army announced Wednesday its plans deploy approximately 400 soldiers from the 1st Armored Division Headquarters this summer.

The 1st Armored Division is from Fort Bliss, Texas, and soldiers will deploy to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

According to the Army’s release, the 1st Armored Division Headquarters will assume the role of Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command-Iraq, replacing the 1st Infantry Division Headquarters.

In that role, the division headquarters will be responsible for mission command of coalition troops training, advising and assisting Iraqi Security Forces.

“America’s Tank Division is highly trained and ready for this important mission,” said Maj. Gen. Pat White, the division commander, in the release. “We are proud to work alongside our Iraqi allies and coalition partners to continue the fight against ISIS. I’m also extremely impressed by the commitment and sacrifice of our military families. It is their stalwart support and resilience that gives us the strength to serve.”

The Pentagon on Wednesday released new details behind the recent deployment of about 200 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division to Iraq. Their purpose is to accelerate the ouster of Islamic State fighters from their stronghold in Mosul.

Two companies from the 82nd Airborne are deployed from Fort Bragg in North Carolina to Mosul to provide additional advise-and-assist support at the request of the top American commander in Baghdad, according to a recent Fox News report.

The paratroopers comprise two infantry companies and a route-clearance platoon from the division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, according to a U.S. defense official, who spoke to Army Times on the condition of anonymity. Officials consider the paratroopers’ deployment to be temporary, and they will be tasked with an advise-and-assist mission once overseas.

Some of the additional forces from the 82nd Airborne will head to the Qayyarah Airfield West, or “Q-West” as the soldiers call it, the official told Fox News.

U.S. forces have occupied the former Iraqi military base since the summer.

Currently, Apache gunships and GPS-guided rocket systems called HIMARS are based there roughly 40 miles south of Mosul to support the ongoing battle for Iraq’s second largest city.

The fight against ISIS in Mosul has stretched longer than five months. In an exclusive interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi predicted ISIS would be defeated in the next few weeks.

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  • Jim Verchio is a staff writer for Popular Military. As a retired Air Force Public Affairs craftsman, Jim has served at all levels. From staff writer to Editor-In-Chief, he has more than 30 years experience covering military topics in print and broadcast from the CONUS to Afghanistan. He is also a two time recipient of the DoD’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for journalism excellence.

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