82nd Airborne brigade plans for Iraq deployment
FORT BRAGG (AP) ó President Bush said he will redirect troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, but a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg still is preparing for its November deployment to Iraq.
A spokesman for the 82ndís 3rd Brigade said the unit can easily change its plans because of the divisionís ability to deploy anywhere in the world within 18 hours, The Fayetteville Observer reported Thursday.
Capt. J.B. Brindle, a 3rd Brigade spokesman, said the unit would be ready to deploy to Afghanistan if ordered, even though combat in Afghanistan is different from the fight in Iraq.
ěWeíre confident in our abilities to fight wherever we are sent,î Brindle said. ěAt this point, itís all speculation. Weíre moving forward with our plans (for Iraq.)î
Bush said this week that a Marine battalion and one Army brigade will be shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan this fall. U.S. commanders in Afghanistan have said they need 10,000 more troops, about three times as many as will come under the plan Bush announced.
Violence involving U.S. troops has escalated in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense said 20 members of the U.S. military were killed in Afghanistan in July while the toll in Iraq was 13.
Presidential candidates have promised to send more troops to Afghanistan.
Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com