Colorado

Aug 19, 2010 10:55 PM by Matt Stafford

Even with draw down, 3,800 Ft. Carson soldiers are to remain in Iraq

The U.S. mission in Iraq now has a new name -- Operation New Dawn.

Operation New Dawn means big military changes in Iraq. U.S. boots on the ground are being decreased to 50,000, from a high of at one point over 180,000. Those soldiers who remain in Iraq have a new mission as well.

"To advise and assist and support Iraqi security forces," explains Capt. Chad Ashe, a public affairs officer for the 4th Infantry Division.

3,800 Fort Carson soldiers with the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team are among those still in Iraq; to help with the transition, not combat.

"We did not go over there as a Brigade Combat Team," says Maj. Joe Bethel, the Rear Detachment Commander for the 3rd B.C.T.

Mountain Post leaders say, from the very beginning, this mission has been about helping the Iraqis stabilize their own country.

"The Third Brigade is going to leave a stamp, and its mark -- hopefully positive -- on the Iraqi people," Maj. Bethel says.

Seven years of war, with the 3rd B.C.T. deploying four different times; the soldiers have seen a lot of changes.

This deployment for the 3rd B.C.T. began this March and was scheduled for a one year.

The plan is to have all American troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011.

The Third Brigade won't be the only Fort Carson soldiers finishing the job in Iraq, 800 4th I.D. soldiers are scheduled to be deployed later this year.

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