So that's 1/10 Mtn as an SFA brigade, I guess, and RCT-2 to Helmand for the fight in Marjah. That gets us about halfway there, as far as I can tell.
The Department of Defense today announced the deployment of approximately 16,000 additional forces to Afghanistan, the initial elements of the 30,000 troops authorized by President Obama on Nov. 30. An infantry battalion task force, with approximately 1,500 Marines, from Camp Lejeune, N.C., will deploy later this month. Regimental Combat Team-2, headquartered at Camp Lejuene, N.C., will deploy approximately 6,200 Marines in early spring 2010. A Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) headquarters from I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif., will deploy approximately 800 Marines in spring 2010.
A Brigade Combat Team (BCT), with approximately 3,400 soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y. will deploy in early spring 2010 to conduct a training mission.
Secretary Gates also approved the deployment of approximately 4,100 support forces, which will deploy at various times into spring 2010.
Interesting to see that the two IBCTs, one of which will be headed to RC-East and one to RC-South -- that is, basically the bulk of the additional combat power in this "surge" -- are going to constitute the latter half of the escalation. Marines and trainers headed over first. Curious to see how they're going to ramp up 1/10 Mtn for the SFA mission at pretty much the exact same time they're getting 1/4 ID ready. (And who's replacing 48th BCT, doing SFA in the east? 1/10 Mtn is supposed to be an additional training brigade.)
UPDATE: You'll remember that 1/10 Mtn was "off-ramped" from a planned Iraq deployment just a couple of months ago. Here's what I had to say about it in October:
The First Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division has been "off-ramped" from its previously-scheduled deployment to Iraq, expected to take place in January of next year. They've yet to receive a new mission tasking, but this announcement is fueling speculation that the brigade is being made available for a potential escalation in Afghanistan.This means the brigade is just finishing up its "Train/Ready" phase and is just about ready to go. So slap on a few weeks of advisor training down at Ft. Polk, switch out those Arabic phrasebooks for Pashto and Dari, and you're headed to Afghanistan!