Fort Bragg welcomed home 800 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division Thursday. They had been rushed to the Middle East in late December to assist with regional security after protesters attacked the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

It was unclear when the remaining 2,700 soldiers who were deployed to Kuwait in the days that followed, will return to the United States as well. The bulk of the 82nd Airborne’s 1st Brigade rushed from North Carolina to the region as tensions with Iran were heightened following the U.S. drone strike in January that killed a top Iranian general.

“Nearly 800 Paratroopers from the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, along with members of the 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, the 3rd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment and several enabler teams from the Immediate Response Force Brigade (IRF) began their redeployment from the Middle East back to Fort Bragg, N.C.,” according to a statement from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.

“The remainder of the 1st Brigade Combat Team remains deployed providing support to the CENTCOM Commander for any missions deemed necessary,” the statement continued.

A complement of about 500 troops from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade was ordered to rush to Kuwait on Dec. 31, following the storming of the outside perimeter of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad by Iranian-backed militiamen. Hundreds of these forces were surged into Baghdad as reinforcements, while hundreds of U.S. military forces serving in administrative roles were taken out of Iraq.

The entire 3,500-soldier unit was ordered to Kuwait following the heightened tensions with Iran after the Jan. 2 U.S. drone strike in Baghdad that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the top commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force.

The drone strike led to concerns that the United States and Iran might be drawn into a regional conflict, but tensions eased following Iran’s retaliatory missile strike on two bases in Iraq that housed American troops.

A U.S. defense official said that the 800 troops that returned to Fort Bragg were among the first to have deployed to Iraq shortly after Iranian-backed protesters stormed the outside perimeter of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

“The situation is more stable,” said the defense official when asked why the troops were returning to the United States.

But the official noted that while U.S. military commanders continue to assess the Iranian threat situation in the region, it was determined that enabler units that might not be fully needed for the ongoing mission could be redeployed back to the United States.

“We could not be more proud of these Paratroopers and it is an honor to welcome them home,” said Maj. Gen. James Mingus, the 82nd Airborne Division commanding general. “These great men and women honored the tradition of Paratroopers that came before them by answering their Nation’s call on a moment’s notice.”

While deployed to Kuwait the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment served as U.S. Central Command’s Immediate Response Battalion and carried out realistic training in case they were needed elsewhere. Now, back at Fort Bragg, the unit will prepare for an upcoming exercise in Europe this Spring.

Designed to deploy anywhere in the world within 18 hours of receiving the orders, the Immediate Response Force Brigade’s deployment in January was described as the most significant no-notice deployment of combat forces in 30 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

China’s ‘great friendship’ with Micronesia leaves US with strategic headache

As US financial support expires in 2023, Beijing could ‘loosen the screws’ on regional alliance with lucrative development deals Independence vote in Micronesia’s Chuuk state in March could raise the stakes, potentially allowing China access to strategically vital waters Source

Surgeon General warns this week will be ‘our Pearl Harbor moment’ as coronavirus death toll rises

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams joins moderator Martha MacCallum on ‘America Is Asking: COVID-19 Crisis.’ Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here. U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome Adams issued…

Congress likely to restrict Capitol tours out of concern over coronavirus

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking on Foxnews.com. Discussions are underway about curbing all non-essential activity at the Capitol amid the coronavirus threat. Fox News is told the conversations will likely mean a suspension of…

Trump boosts virus aid, warns governors to be ‘appreciative’

WASHINGTON — After days of desperate pleas from the nation’s governors, President Donald Trump took a round of steps to expand the federal government’s role in helping produce critically needed supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic even as he warned…