By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Killeen Daily Herald

A Colorado-based brigade from the 4th Infantry Division is scheduled to replace the Fort Hood-based 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, in Afghanistan this spring, according to information from the Army.

The 3rd Brigade is scheduled to return in June to Fort Hood. It will relocate to Fort Knox, Ky., this fall.

The Defense Department announced Monday that the 4th Infantry's 4th Brigade Combat Team, which is stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan.

Though no official orders have been released, Maj. Gen. Jeffery W. Hammond, 4th Infantry commander, said during a Feb. 25 town hall that the division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, already located at Fort Carson, and the division headquarters were expected to deploy no later than mid-2010. Those soldiers will "probably" go to Afghanistan, he said.

Those are policy-level decisions on which division officials do not have a vote, Hammond added.

The 4th Infantry's Special Troops Battalion recently returned from Iraq, and 1st Brigade Combat Team soldiers are set to return this month. Both will leave this summer for Fort Carson.

The 1st Infantry's 3rd Brigade was reactivated at Fort Hood on April 19, 2007.

"Now we go off to a hard, challenging, important fight to prove that we are the best of the best of the best and to uphold the traditions and successes that the other units here at Fort Hood have forged over the last years, largely in Iraq," Col. John M. Spiszer, the brigade's commander, said shortly before deploying last summer.

The brigade's reactivation at Fort Hood came two years earlier than expected in "order to build a combat-ready unit," Spiszer said. The brigade was supposed to be based out of Fort Knox, not Fort Hood, but space wasn't available at the time.

The 3rd Brigade soldiers assumed authority of Kangarhar Province, located in northeast Afghanistan, from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team on July 24.

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at or (254) 501-7547; Lt. Col. Lee Packnett and Staff Sgt. Adora Medina contributed to this report.

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