I Corps’ Brig. Gen. Heidi Brown has been in the news a lot lately, mostly because she’s tasked with overseeing the logistics of withdrawing troops and equipment from Iraq. The Associated Press caught up with Brown, a Texas native, for a story that moved across the wire last night.
From the story:
First out, Brown said, will be the early withdrawal of an Army combat brigade of about 5,000. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said a brigade would leave by the end of the year, months ahead of schedule, if violence in Iraq did not escalate beyond current levels.
That will be followed by the Marine Corps, which has already shipped out about half of its 22,000 troops and more than 50 percent of its equipment since May.
“In about six months or less, they will be gone,” she said.
The U.S. military also plans to shrink the contractor force from roughly 130,000 to between 50,000 and 75,000 by September 2010. Those remaining would pick up additional duties from departing troops, Brown said.
The nearly 300 American bases and outposts currently remaining in Iraq will shrink to 50 or less by the president’s deadline, Brown said.