By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Killeen Daily Herald

The 1st Cavalry Division's Headquarters is scheduled to deploy in early 2009 to Iraq, according to a Tuesday announcement by the Defense Department.

That affects more than 1,100 soldiers serving in the Headquarters who will be sent to provide capabilities such as command and control, intelligence, communications and logistical support, according to information from the division. The soldiers also will conduct stability and security operations in cooperation with Iraqi security forces and local governments.

The Headquarters soldiers are preparing for a mission rehearsal exercise in late October that will simulate situations they could encounter in Iraq, according to information from the division.

The division's 4th Brigade Combat Team left for Iraq nearly four months ago for a scheduled 15-month deployment. Its soldiers moved into an area in eastern Iraq that had previously not hosted American troops.

Part of the soldiers' mission is to stop weapons smuggling from Iran into Iraq, Col. Philip Battaglia, brigade commander, said in August.

The 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams will soon begin returning from rotations to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., and the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. These rotations are among the final steps in the brigades' preparations to deploy.

Both brigades left Fort Hood in early September. The 1st Brigade Combat Team is in the process of sending its soldiers to the National Training Center, where they will train for a month.

The Defense Department announced in late May that the 3rd Brigade could deploy this fall "to replace troops scheduled to come home by the year's end," according to Herald reports.

Officials announced in June that the 1st and 2nd Brigades are expected to deploy to Iraq between January and March 2009. This will be each of the brigades' third deployments since the war began.

Most of the deploying 1st Cavalry soldiers should have "boots on the ground" in Iraq by spring 2009, according to information from the division.

Tuesday's Defense Department announcement also involved one corps headquarters, one Marine expeditionary force headquarters and seven brigade combat teams that total about 26,000 people.

The deployment window for these units will begin this winter and continue into summer 2009, according to information from the Defense Department.

Units receiving deployment orders include:

I Corps Headquarters, Fort Lewis, Wash.

II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss

4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.

1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.

4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

115th Fires Brigade, Cheyenne, Wyo.

The Defense Department will continue to announce major unit deployments and adjustments as they are identified and those units are alerted.

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at or (254) 501-7547.

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