More Fort Drum soldiers will deploy to Afghanistan
More Fort Drum troops got official orders to ship off to Afghanistan. They will leave this spring and summer.
Over 1,600 soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team will do one of three things in southern Afghanistan: One, protect U.S. forces on bases; two, serve as staff with the Train Advise Assist Command unit; or three advise the Afghan National Army and police.
Col. David Doyle, who leads the 2nd Brigade, says troops will be focusing on helping the Afghan security forces and other organizations operate more effectively. It’s a mission he says is different from those in the past.
"A lot of what Fort Drum soldiers had been focused on in the past is training Afghan military units on the lower levels. This focus will really try to improve Afghan systems. Things like their pay system, their logistics system," Doyle said.
This is the 2nd Brigade’s fourth deployment to Afghanistan. It’s scheduled to last nine months.
Doyle says he’s relieved to know all the soldiers’ training will be put to use.
“It’s also a bit of a reminder of how serious our training has to be as we continue to prepare. It’s the mark on the wall that we are talking soldiers into harm’s way," Doyle said.
A small group of soldiers with Fort Drum’s 10th Combat Aviation Brigade will be deploying to Afghanistan first. There, they will be operating Grey Eagle drones.
President Barack Obama declared the war in Afghanistan officially over at the end of last year. But the mission continues this time under the new name: Operation Resolute Support.