The U.S. Army has announced plans to deploy around 1,700 Fort Bragg paratroopers to Iraq to train, advise, and assist Iraqi Security Forces in their ongoing fight against ISIS as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.
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The paratroopers from Fort Bragg’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division will replace the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, which, as Stars and Stripes notes, has been training Iraqi troops and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters since they deployed back in May.
“The 2nd Brigade Combat Team is highly trained, disciplined, and fit,” Col. James “Pat” Work, commander 2nd Brigade Combat Team, said in a statement. “Readiness is our top priority; our paratroopers are prepared for this deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Our team looks forward to this important mission and our opportunity to assist our Iraqi partners.”
The 82nd’s deployment will last around nine months and starts later this year, the Fayetteville Observer said.
The paratroopers will assist the Iraqi forces in operations planning, logistics, artillery targeting and surveillance and reconnaissance, said 2nd Brigade Combat Team spokesman Staff Sgt. Jason Hull, according to Stars and Stripes.
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Iraqi security forces are currently engaged in a grueling battle to retake Mosul, a strategically crucial city that has been under ISIS control for over two years now. Earlier this week, Iraqi special forces entered the city limits on the eastern side, with a U.S-led coalition providing airstrike support. The battle is expected to last several months.