A Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade will deploy to Afghanistan this December, the Pentagon announced today.
The 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division has about 3,200 soldiers and it most recently deployed to Iraq in 2009-10.
Its soldiers are training for their mission this month in Southern California at Fort Irwin.
Its leadership earlier this year had been preparing for so-called “full spectrum” operations, meaning they were training for traditional warfare against another developed military because they did not have clear plans for a deployment to the Middle East on the horizon.
Those plans appeared to change this summer when the Army announced the brigade would train for the kind of tactics the military uses in Afghanistan, namely protecting civilians while tracking down isolated insurgents.
Also, the brigade’s public affairs staff lately has been directing families to information about how to cope with deployments.
The 3rd Brigade will serve in Afghanistan with Lewis-McChord’s top Army officer. Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti deployed to the country with Lewis-McChord’s I Corps in July as the war’s deputy commander.
Lewis-McChord’s 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division was the first Stryker brigade to serve in Afghanistan when it deployed there in July 2009. An Alaska-based Stryker brigade is serving in Afghanistan today.
The Pentagon did not say whether Lewis-McChord soldiers would replace the troops from Alaska.