Fort Riley to deploy 500 troops to Iraq

Screenshot from the video below

About 500 Fort Riley soldiers will be deployed to Iraq in late October, with about 200 of them serving in the advisory role President Barack Obama has established for American ground forces in the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq, base officials announced Thursday.

In a news release on the Fort Riley public information website, it was announced that the Department of Defense had designated the 1st Infantry Division — “The Big Red One” — as the unit to be deployed as part of an upcoming transition in Iraq. They will replace service members who have been on duty since June.

Obama on Sept. 10 authorized 475 U.S. troops to assist Iraqi Security Forces in matters of intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance. Soon to be among them will be about 200 Fort Riley soldiers who will be deployed in Baghdad and Irbil, Iraq.

Other members of the 1st Division’s headquarters staff will oversee what the Army called “the expanded range of activities that U.S. personnel in Iraq were assigned.” The Fort Riley troops will enlarge the headquarters of the Joint Forces Land Component Command, which has operational control over activities in Iraq while reporting to U.S. Central Command.

The release said Fort Riley soldiers were preparing for a one-year mission in Iraq.

“As brave, responsible and on-point soldiers in the ‘Big Red One,’ we stand ready to deploy anywhere in the world to protect the United States of America, her citizens and her allies,” Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commanding general at Fort Riley, said in the press statement. “We are ready for anything because we know we have the nation behind us.”

By Rick Dean

rick.dean@cjonline.com

 

It has been ten years since the 1st Infantry Division started their mission in Iraq. The video below is a music video compilation of their 2004 deployment.

YouTube video

In 2011, the 1st Infantry Division retired their colors at their home base of Fort Riley, KS. The war in Iraq was complete and the “The Big Red One” added another ribbon. After three short years, these colors are on their way back to Baghdad. “Forward the Big Red One!”

YouTube video

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