Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Fort Polk, LA, United States (4E) – As the battle to destroy ISIS in Iraq reaches its final stages, the U.S. Army has announced the deployment of 2,100 more men to that country to ensure the final destruction of this terrorist group.
The men will come from the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team “Patriots,” 10th Mountain Division at Fort Polk, Louisiana. They will deploy to Iraq this fall in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) as part of the regular rotation of forces.
Launched in August 2016, OIR is the U.S. military’s operational name for the military intervention against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The men from 10th Mountain will replace those from 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 82nd Airborne Division. The 2nd Brigade has spent seven months in Iraq, advising Iraqi forces in the gory Battle for Mosul, that ended with the capture of the Iraqi Army’s capture of this Iraqi city this month and the annihilation of the over 5,000 ISIS fighters defending it.
The 3rd BCT will support Iraqi Army forces as they launch their next offensives aimed at recapturing the last few ISIS strongholds in Iraq. These attacks will aim to seize the ISIS-held towns of Tal Afar about 40 miles west of Mosul; the town of Hawija in northern Iraq and al-Qaim along the Euphrates River at the Syrian border.
Men of the 3rd BCT have been training for several months in preparation for the rotation, said Maj. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, division commander. The training included a month-long operation at Fort Polk’s Joint Readiness Training Center. Soldiers from 3rd BCT have trained with soldiers from the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas Army National Guard since March 2016
The U.S. military said it now has some 5,200 troops officially deployed to Iraq.
“Our soldiers have spent the last year preparing for this mission and are ready to handle any threat anywhere. Without their sacrifice and efforts, our unit would not be the combat focused force it is,” said Col. Brian Sullivan, 3rd BCT commander.
“I want to extend heartfelt gratitude to our soldiers and their families for everything they have done and continue to do.”
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