Nearly 500 paratroopers from the Army’s famed 82nd Airborne Division will deploy to Iraq and other locations in the Middle East to support operations against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), according to the Pentagon.
On Wednesday, the 82nd Airborne Division announced that soldiers from the division headquarters at Fort Bragg, North Carolina will depart in June for a nine-month deployment.
One contingent will be stationed in Iraq. The remaining paratroopers will be based outside the country in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, which consists of 20 countries including Afghanistan and Syria where ISIS has established a presence.
“The division will assume the role of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Iraq from the 1st Infantry Division and will provide command and control of coalition troops who are training, advising and assisting Iraqi Security Forces,” announced the 82nd Airborne Division.
“I’m very proud of this great team,” said Maj. Gen. Richard D. Clarke, the 82nd Airborne Division commanding general. “Our Paratroopers are well trained and ready to continue the tremendous support the 1st Infantry Division is providing to the Iraqi Security Forces. The coalition is strong and committed to helping Iraq defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and we will continue to assist Iraq in its efforts to regain control over its sovereign territory.
Stars and Stripes notes that there are nearly 3,000 U.S. troops currently deployed in Iraq, including about 1,300 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
The U.S. Central Command’s anti-ISIS operation has been dubbed Inherent Resolve.
Operation Inherent Resolve is described by the Pentagon as involving U.S.-led airstrikes against targets in Iraq and Syria “as part of the comprehensive strategy to degrade and defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.”
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