Latest call-up puts Southern troops on alert

The Associated Press reports that more than 10,000 soldiers from Fort Campbell Kentucky's 101st Airborne Division are among 35,000 troops put on notice to prepare for deployment to Iraq later this year.

Troops from the 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart Georgia, the 10th Mountain Division from Fort Polk Louisiana, and support troops from a Fort Thomas Kentucky Army Reserve engineer battalion are also included in the call-up.

According to the article, a Pentagon spokesperson said that the "decision gives the Pentagon the capability to carry the buildup to the end of the year" and would "give commanders in Iraq the flexibility they need to complete the mission there," but:

The announcement, said Whitman, has "nothing to do" with a decision to extend the troop buildup. He said the Pentagon "has been very clear that a decision about the duration of the surge will depend on conditions on the ground."

The call-up involves 10 brigades who would serve up to 15 month tours of duty. They are:

the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment in Germany; the 4th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Ga.; the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Brigades of the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Ky.; the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment from Fort Hood, Texas; the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored from Germany; 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division from Fort Polk, La.; 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division from Hawaii and the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division from Fort Hood.

In related news, the Pentagon also announced that it is deploying the 101st Airborne's HQ staff and its 4th Brigade to Afghanistan next year in order to "maintain a heightened level of U.S. troops in Afghanistan well into 2008" to fight the reorganized Taliban resistance. They will replace 82nd Airborne personnel.