Alaska Stryker brigade to deploy to Iraq
Posted : Thursday Sep 11, 2008 14:30:01 EDT
A deployment ceremony will be held Thursday at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, to bid farewell to soldiers of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
The 4,000-soldier brigade will be leaving Fort Wainwright on a series of flights during September for a 12-month deployment to Iraq, according to a press release from U.S. Army Alaska.
Since December 2006, when the 1st SBCT returned from a 15-month tour in Iraq, the unit has been in a “reset” mode — bringing in new manpower, upgrading equipment and training intensively for its next assignment in Iraq, the release said.
The brigade has been under the command of Col. Burdett Thompson, who took over from Col. Michael Shields on Dec. 14, 2006.
At the 1 p.m. ceremony, 20 soldiers will be sworn in as U.S. citizens and the brigade’s colors will be cased in preparation for the deployment.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Lt. Gen. Ben Mixon, commander of U.S. Army Pacific, Maj. Gen. Stephen Layfield, commander of U.S. Army Alaska and Thompson are scheduled to speak at the ceremony.
Spc. Track Palin, the eldest son of Palin, who is also the Republican vice presidential candidate, is a member of the 1st SBCT and will be on the brigade commander’s personal security detachment while on deployment, according to an Associated Press report.
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