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Stryker brigade is returning from Iraq


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POSTED: Tuesday, January 27, 2009

After nearly 14 months in Iraq, the 4,500-member 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team from Schofield Barracks is coming home.

 

;

“;We're excited to have
a front-row seat on the
coming (provincial) elec-
tions.”;

Col. Todd McCaffrey
2nd Stryker Brigade
Combat Team

 

The first 100 Stryker soldiers were expected to be back at Wahiawa early this morning.

The soldiers and their 330 new 18-wheeled Stryker combat vehicles left Schofield Barracks in 2007 for the Baghdad-Taji area in Iraq. During the past 14 months, 11 Stryker soldiers have been killed. This is the unit's second combat tour to northern Iraq.

In a satellite news conference yesterday, brigade leader Col. Todd McCaffrey told Pentagon reporters, “;Over the last 14 months, we've seen a remarkable drop in violence, and a corresponding development of economic growth and Iraqi security force capabilities.”;

Speaking from Camp Taji, 20 miles northwest of Baghdad, McCaffrey said, “;It's now very common to go for days without a single violent act in our area. And when attacks do occur, they tend to be isolated, ineffective and focused on the Iraqi security forces, who operate independently and provide the day-to-day security across the region.”;

From October to December there were 156 attacks, a 47 percent decrease from 295 a year ago, according to a 25th Division fact sheet.

“;We're excited to have a front-row seat on the coming (provincial) elections,”; McCaffrey said. He described this week's elections as “;a perfect conclusion to this tour.”;

McCaffrey was in Mosul during the national elections in 2005, when Sunnis boycotted the balloting.

Four years later, things have changed.

“;They are excited about their votes and their voice that they'll see—that will be heard in these provincial elections,”; he said. “;So I think that's the most significant issue we'll see in our area.”;