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‘Big Red One’ Soldiers to deploy to Iraq in advise, assist, enable mission

By Staff Report | 1st Infantry Division | September 25, 2014

FORT RILEY, Kansas --

The Department of Defense today identified the 1st Infantry Division as the headquarters unit to deploy as part of the upcoming transition of authority in Iraq. The deployment involves a division headquarters element to support the combatant commander's mission requirements.

About 500 Soldiers from the 1st Inf. Div.’s Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion will deploy to the Central Command area of responsibility in late October. Of those 500, about 200 will deploy to Baghdad and Irbil, Iraq, as part of the 475 troops President Barack Obama authorized Sept. 10 to deploy to Iraq part of the nation’s strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL. The troops will advise and assist the Iraqi Security Forces to help them go on the offense against ISIL and conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance flights. This will also increase the United States’ capacity to target ISIL and coordinate the activities of the U.S. military across Iraq.

“As brave, responsible and on-point Soldiers in the ‘Big Red One,’ we stand ready to deploy anywhere in the world to protect the United States of America, her citizens and her allies,” said Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley commanding general. “We are ready for anything because we know we have the nation behind us.”

The Big Red One Soldiers will replace service members who have been in Iraq since June. These forces provide a similarly sized headquarters staff to oversee the expanded range of activities that these U.S. personnel in Iraq were assigned and expand the headquarters of the Joint Forces Land Component Command, which has operational control over activities in Iraq reporting to U.S. Central Command.

The 1st Inf. Div. Soldiers will begin to deploy in October and are preparing for a one-year mission.

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Media inquiries regarding the division headquarters’ deployment should be directed to the 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs Office at (785) 307-6744.