Fort Stewart general, HQ troops, deploying to Iraq next month
FORT STEWART, Ga. The commanding general of the Army's Third Infantry Division and his headquarters of one-thousand troops will deploy to Iraq next month to take command of U-S forces in southern Baghdad.Major General Rick Lynch told reporters today his command staff will deploy about five months sooner than expected as part of President Bush's order to send 21-thousand additional troops to Baghdad, where attacks against coalition forces as well as civilians have risen dramatically.
Lynch said -- quote -- "Baghdad is without a doubt a more dangerous place this time. The insurgents know if they don't do something now to stop this democratic society from continuing to build, then they're going to lose."
In Iraq, Lynch will command a task force of about 20-thousand troops in southern Baghdad. He said his Third Infantry headquarters has orders to deploy by March 25th.
The Third Infantry began deploying for its third combat tour to Iraq in January, when the division's First Brigade Combat Team of four-thousand soldiers left Fort Stewart. The division, which helped lead the charge to Baghdad in 2003, is the first in the Army tapped for a third tour.
The division's remaining three combat brigades are preparing to deploy as well.
The Third Brigade, based at Fort Benning in Columbus, has orders to be in Iraq by March 15th. And the Second Brigade from Fort Stewart will deploy by mid-May. Both units had their deployments moved forward by about two months because of the troop surge ordered by Bush.
You and all your soldiers are in my prayers. Godspeed and home safe.