It’s official: I Corps is heading to Iraq next year to take on day-to-day operations.
And the unit that runs Fort Lewis will have two familiar brigades under its command.
The Department of Defense announced the major units in its next rotation Tuesday, and joining I Corps will be the 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division and the 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division – both based at Fort Lewis. The announcement likely caught few people by surprise on post, where personnel have expected this decision.
A firm timetable hasn’t been set, but I Corps is expected to arrive in the winter. The two Stryker brigades will arrive during by summer; a more exact time or location hasn’t been determined because it’s not certain which units they will replace, I Corps spokeswoman Maj. Kathy Turner said.
With smaller units also expected to deploy, as many as 10,000 Fort Lewis personnel will be serving in Iraq next year, Turner said.
This will be I Corps’ first combat deployment since the Korean War. 3rd Brigade will make its third trip to Iraq, and this will be the first time 5th Brigade sees combat.