It's official - the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division is heading back to Iraq.
After months of speculation, U.S. Army Europe announced Sunday evening that the 1st Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team from Schweinfurt, Germany, will deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the next few weeks.
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The brigade originally received notification of possible May deployment in November 2005. That date was postponed by the Pentagon, leaving the unit’s 4,000 soldiers and their families in limbo.
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The brigade is completing a recertification gunnery exercise in Grafenwöhr, Germany, and the various units within the brigade will begin deploying over the next few weeks to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, according to the USAREUR release.
This is the second deployment in Iraq for the brigade, which deployed in 2004 with other elements of 1st ID under Texas’ III Corps/Multi-National Corps-Iraq. During the upcoming tour, the unit will fall under the leadership of 1st Armored Division.
At the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 the Dagger Brigade orignally deployed to Turkey in preparation for the planned northern invasion of Iraq by 4th ID. When the Turkish government denied access through their border, the 2nd brigade returned to Germany before deploying to Iraq in 2004.
Godspeed to the soldiers of the Dagger Brigade, and special thoughts and prayers for Soldiers' Angel Kathy Hartmann, whose son is one of them.