BAGHDAD (source: AFP) — A roughly 4,000-soldier US army Brigade Combat Team will deploy from Iraq to Kuwait as a reserve force until well after US forces depart Iraq, leaders of the unit said on its Facebook page. The posts come after a US defence official said the Pentagon was considering shifting some of the US soldiers due to depart Iraq by year’s end to Kuwait, amid concerns about Iraq’s stability and Iran’s role in the region.
According to posts from the commander and command sergeant major of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, the unit will complete its 12-month tour, which began in Iraq in mid-July 2011, in Kuwait.
“Troops and families of the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division are being notified that 1/1 CAV will likely be repositioned … for the remainder of their 12-month deployment,” said a post signed “Ironhorse 6,” meaning the unit’s commander, Colonel Scott Efflandt.
“This force will function as a reserve in the region to provide maximum flexibility for response to contingencies,” it said.
“It also demonstrates our lasting commitment to regional stability and security, and the robust security relationships we maintain with our regional partners,” it said.
A later post signed “Ironhorse 9,” meaning Command Sergeant Major Lance Lehr, confirmed the news, and gave the unit’s mailing address as Camp Beuhring, Kuwait. The unit has been “re-missioned for another task within our scope of responsibility in accordance with our original deployment orders,” the post said.
“Of course, we all wanted to come home early, but we knew that our mission required us to be deployed for a full year.”
All of the roughly 31,000 US soldiers remaining in Iraq are to leave the country before the end of 2011.