Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Finding baseline brigades

Today's announcement by the Pentagon of three more ground combat maneuver brigades and HQ units bring the announced post-surge force up to eight brigades. The DOD had already announced four National Guard brigades will be deploying to Iraq as rotational forces starting in December 2007. These brigades are from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Indiana and Ohio and have already done one combat tour in Iraq. Another active duty brigade was notified of their deployment orders as normal rotational units.

The five surge brigades are due to be in Iraq until the early Spring to late Summer of 2008 and they will slot out of the 'surge' component and into the normal rotational patterns which will eventually bring the baseline force to thirteen brigades for a short period of time. Where will the additional brigades come from? Part of the additional brigade months will be coming from the Marines extending their standard tour for their infantry battalions from seven months with the occassional extension to twelve months. The rest will either be from short changing rest/recuperation/reconstitution time for brigades that are coming off the line right now or activating more National Guard brigades in the next three months or so.

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