About 180 soldiers from V Corps’ Special Troops Battalion and soldiers tapped from its subordinate units will spend a year as the first International Security Assistance Force Intermediate Joint Command, to be headed by Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez.
The move is a startling turnaround for the corps. It was set to be inactivated just weeks ago as part of Army transformation. Then there was an announcement that the corps’ inactivation was postponed for a year. Now under this plan, it would remain intact and in Germany for at least the next several years, officials said.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates hasn’t approved the enduring mission, officials said. But V Corps soldiers are to deploy over the next few weeks, and some are already in Kabul.
What’s more, under the proposal, the relocation to the U.S. of two Europe-based brigades, delayed for years, would be on indefinite hold. The brigades would likely remain in Germany as well for as long as the Corps is deployed to Afghanistan. The brigades — the 170th Infantry Brigade, formerly the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division in Baumholder and the 172nd Infantry Brigade in Schweinfurt — were scheduled to relocate to the U.S. in 2012. That plan, part of worldwide rebasing, has been opposed consistently by U.S. leaders in Europe, who said the troops were needed for training with allies, deployments and deterrence.
The change in V Corps’ fortunes is intertwined with counterinsurgency doctrine suggesting that the regular Army should, like the Special Forces, provide the war effort with experienced and knowledgeable U.S. soldiers, familiar with the local people, local fighters, and political, social and economic situations.
“It’s the JSOC model,” the official said, referring to Joint Special Operations commands. “That’s what [Gen. David] Petraeus wanted.”
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