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The First Afghanistan ‘Extended Surge’ Deployments

Fresh out from the Department of Defense: word of the first units deployed to Afghanistan as part of the “extended surge.” It’s a whole lot of Marines and the Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division:

The Department of Defense today announced the deployment of approximately 16,000 additional forces to Afghanistan, the initial elements of the 30,000 troops authorized by President Obama on Nov. 30. An infantry battalion task force, with approximately 1,500 Marines, from Camp Lejeune, N.C., will deploy later this month. Regimental Combat Team-2, headquartered at Camp Lejeune, N.C., will deploy approximately 6,200 Marines in early spring 2010. A Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) headquarters from I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif., will deploy approximately 800 Marines in spring 2010.

A Brigade Combat Team (BCT), with approximately 3,400 soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y. will deploy in early spring 2010 to conduct a training mission.

Secretary Gates also approved the deployment of approximately 4,100 support forces, which will deploy at various times into spring 2010.

I don’t know the deployment information offhand of those Marines. But this represents the fourth combat tour of that brigade combat team from the 101st Airborne since 2003.

Also, later this afternoon, President Obama is scheduled to meet with Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, his top military and civilian leaders in Afghanistan. McChrystal and Eikenberry will undergo a marathon two-day series of testimony before the Senate and House armed services and foreign affairs committees beginning Tuesday morning.

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