In Defiance of the Constitution, 49,000 Troops Still Deployed in Iraq
(The New American) -- by Joe Wolverton, II --
Many of the nearly 50,000 combat troops waking up in the same Iraqi bivouacs would be surprised to learn that the “final combat brigade” has left Iraq and that Operation Iraqi Freedom has ended.
As the cameras rolled, so did the tracks of the heavy mechanized vehicles carrying the troops of the Army’s 4th Stryker Brigade. Entering Kuwait, the soldiers would populate tent cities, awaiting their re-deployment home to their stateside headquarters in Fort Lewis, Washington.
As the 4th Brigade boards military transport aircraft for the flight to Germany and then home, many of their comrades are moving into the barracks they quickly abandoned in their zeal to leave behind the less-than-friendly confines of their desert camp.
The Army’s 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, a unit in the 25th Infantry Division based in Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, will assume the 4th’s duties, albeit under the less martial designation of “Advise and Assist Brigade.” All the military units remaining in Iraq will undergo similar rebranding.
The "Stryker" in Stryker comes from the principal vehicle used by such units. The Stryker is an 8-wheeled armored vehicle used widely by the U.S. Army. As originally designed, it would take only 96 hours from the time the unit received orders to deploy to the time boots were on the ground in theater.
According to information on the unit’s website, each Stryker Brigade Combat Team consists of three Infantry Battalions, one Reconnaissance (Cavalry) Squadron, one Fires (Artillery) Battalion, one Brigade Support Battalion, one Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company, one Network Support Company, one Military Intelligence Company, one Engineer Company, and one Anti-Tank Company.
The men and women of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team are a small part of the 49,000 service personnel still occupying Iraq. There are various heavy and light infantry brigades, as well as two combat aviation brigades. All of these units form the core of the Advise and Assist Brigades. The regular army troops are joined in their mission to advise and assist by two National Guard infantry brigades.
As quoted by the Army Times, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Craig Ratcliff claims that the National Guard units are in Iraq “for security.”...MORE...LINK