Members of Fort Hood’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are actively engaged in the fight against the Islamic State to help Iraqi security forces reclaim the city of Mosul, Iraq.
Members of the unit’s 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, are supporting members of the Iraqi military from the nearby town of Hamam al-Alil, which is about 15 miles from Mosul, according to the Defense Department and The New York Times.
About two weeks ago, U.S.-backed Iraqi forces started a major offensive to drive the Islamic State out of the western section of Mosul, almost a month after they forced the militant group out of the eastern side of the city, according to a Associated Press report Sunday.
Members of the “Greywolf” Brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, are supporting that offensive from the nearby town of Hamam al-Alil, located along the Tigris River.
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team officially cased its colors Feb. 16 to send about 4,000 soldiers to Kuwait for a nine-month deployment in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Their mission is to support regional partners with operational missions, military exercises and theater security cooperation activities in the Central Command area of responsibility, which covers the Middle East.
Along with the M109A6 Paladin 155 mm self-propelled howitzers used by 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, U.S. forces in Iraq use Himars satellite-guided rockets, Apache attack helicopters equipped with Hellfire missiles, warplanes and drones to assist their Iraqi allies in the attack, according to The New York Times.
The artillery unit recently lost one of its own cannon crew members in a noncombat-related accident. Pfc. Brian. P. Odiorne, 21, of Ware, Mass., died Feb. 20 in Al Anbar province, according to a DOD release. The incident is still under investigation.