500 Fort Bragg troops to deploy to Afghanistan


"We have an important mission at a very important time in both our national military commitment to Afghanistan and in the history of Afghanistan," said Lt. Gen. Joe Anderson, commander of XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg. "The XVIII Airborne Corps 'Dragons' will assume a role in the International Security Assistance Forces' Joint Command (IJC) that allows us to continue helping the Afghans improve their long-term prospects for stability."

The Corps will deploy approximately 500 paratroopers to serve within the IJC headquarters and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.

The XVIII Airborne Corps most recently returned from a deployment to Iraq in December of 2011, where they were responsible for closing down bases in Iraq.

A Fort Bragg spokesman says their mission to Afghanistan this time will be very similar to winding down operations in Iraq.

"We have a lot of equipment there. A lot of things to move," said 18th Airborne Corp Spokesman Col. Kevin Arata. "The difference is going to be in this case there were different ways we have to move things in Iraq. We had a port where we could get equipment out. We don't have that luxury in Afghanistan. So there is more of a challenge."

The 82nd Sustainment Brigade, with approximately 100 soldiers, will also deploy.

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