1st Infantry Division takes over control in Iraq during Mosul operation

U.S. Soldiers assigned to Company B., 1st Battalion, 126th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) provide security during a key leader engagement with Iraqi security forces to assess security checkpoints around Qayyarah West Airfield, Iraq, Oct. 31, 2016. The United States stands with a Coalition of over 60 international partners to assist and support Iraqi security forces to degrade and defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. . (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Christopher Brecht)

Components of the US Army’s First Infantry Division and the 82nd Airborne Division are setting up shop Iraq in order to assist coalition troops in pushing Islamic State fighters out of Mosul.

Around 500 soldiers from the Fort Riley, Kansas-based “Big Red One” and 1,700 paratroopers from the Fort Bragg, North Carolina-based “All American Division” -both legendary Army units whose lineages dates back to World War I-  are entering the Iraqi theatre of operations, albeit playing different roles.

In addition to their illustrious 20th century combat records, the 1st Infantry and 82nd Airborne have played crucial roles in the Middle East, from assaulting Iraqi-controlled territory in Operation Desert Storm to the invasion and countless follow-up operations in the Iraq War, which spanned from 2003 to 2011.

According to a press release from US Central Command, the 500 troops from the Big Red One “assumed command of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command- Operation Inherent Resolve from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) during a Transfer of Authority ceremony today at Forward Operating Base, Union III, Iraq.”

The deployment is the second tour the 1st Infantry has undergone in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, and their arrival will be another critical lynchpin in the ousting of ISIS from Iraq.

“Iraq will be liberated from the threat of terrorism and [ISIS’s] brutal and tyrannical methods,” commander of JTF-Operation Inherent Resolve Lieutenant General Stephen J. Townsend said. “The liberation of Mosul is on the horizon and you will help our Iraqi brothers to reach it.”

As the Big Red One take the reins of critical components Operation Inherent Resolve, the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team has been geared up to deploy into the region since earlier this month, although their exact troop movements at this time are not public.

A press release from the 2nd BCT stated that 1,700 of their soldiers will be moving in to “replace the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division in training, advising, and assisting the Iraqi Security Forces.”

“The 2nd Brigade Combat Team is highly trained, disciplined, and fit,” said 2nd BCT Commander Col. James “Pat” Work. “Readiness is our top priority; our paratroopers are prepared for this deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Our team looks forward to this important mission and our opportunity to assist our Iraqi partners.”

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Officer could not be reached for comment in regards to the deployment.

Operation Inherent Resolve has been underway since June of 2014 and involves a two-stage theatre in Iraq and Syria. Since the campaign’s start, well over 15,000 airstrikes have been launched.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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