In the Military
3rd Brigade still due to go to Iraq next July
The 25th Infantry Division's orders to send its 3rd Brigade Combat Team with 7,000 Schofield Barracks soldiers to Iraq next July have not been affected by the Pentagon's decision to halt the scheduled deployment of two other Army brigades early next year.
The Pentagon plans to send in smaller teams to support and train Iraqi forces in what could be an early step toward an eventual drawdown of U.S. forces, defense officials told the Associated Press Wednesday. A third brigade, initially scheduled to go to Afghanistan, may also stay home. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is preparing to announce the plan after the Iraq election on Thursday.
Last month the Pentagon announced that more than 92,000 troops, with about 7,000 coming from the 25th Division, would be in the next rotation of U.S. forces in Iraq.
Kendrick Washington, Schofield Barracks spokesman, said: "As it stands right now, it doesn't have any impact. We're marching along as planned."
Pentagon officials have said all along that they hope to reduce U.S. troop levels, now at about 154,000, as Iraqi security forces become more capable of defending their own country. A brigade usually numbers around 3,500 troops.
Under the plan, the Associated Press said, the deployment of the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan., would be canceled. Instead, for the first time, portions of the brigade would be divided into 10- or 11-member military transition teams that would be sent separately into Iraq to work with Iraqi security forces. Also, some other members of the brigade would go to Iraq to do security duty, such as guarding high profile targets.
The second unit that would not deploy to Iraq is the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, which is currently in Kuwait and is usually based in Germany. Under the plan, up to two-thirds of the brigade would return to Germany, while the rest would stay in Kuwait, prepared to respond to any emergency in Iraq.
The 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Polk, La., would not go to Afghanistan.
Rumsfeld said the 92,000-troop level should not be taken as the final number and said the exact size would not be decided until after the election. The usual troop level this year has been about 138,000, but the total peaked at about 160,000 this fall because of concerns about heightened violence during the elections.
Eight University of Hawaii Army ROTC students have been selected as distinguished graduates, an honor given to the top 20 percent of graduates in the country. The cadets are John Ardiente, Frank Calvo, Christopher Ikeda, Brian Mirr, Daniel Mow, David Pott, Leopele Raabe and Sang Yim.
Nearly 3,000 Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard workers pledged donations of $670,961 during the recent Combined Federal Campaign. Capt. Frank J. Camelio, shipyard commander, said: "Shipyard employees have continually stepped up to the plate to meet the needs of charitable agencies, and of the nation. After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the shipyard raised a record $470,000. Last year, we broke the record with more than $630,000. This year, even after supporting Hurricane Katrina and Rita relief efforts, our workers broke the record by yet another $40,000."
The campaign was created in 1961 by presidential executive order to consolidate numerous charitable drives, allowing for a single campaign to be conducted once a year in all federal and military work places.
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"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other
sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for
the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He can be reached can be reached by phone
at 294-4075 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org