Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team exit a CH-47 Chinook helicopter after landing at Camp Taji Jan. 20. Photographer: Sgt. Michael Pryor, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs.
More below from Sergeant Pryor:
...The paratroopers from the 2nd “Falcon” Brigade, who had been based in Kuwait as a ready reserve since early January, are to be followed over the next several months by four more combat brigades, bolstering U.S. forces in Baghdad by approximately 20,000 Soldiers. The increase in troops is designed to help clamp down on violence in the city and pave the way for the Iraqi government to assume full control of Baghdad’s security.
The 2nd BCT will be organized under the Multi-National Division – Baghdad, headed by the 1st Cavalry Division. The brigade will be conducting operations in conjunction with the Iraqi security forces. As part of its mission, the Falcons will be sending paratroopers into some of Baghdad’s most volatile areas to pursue a “clear, hold, and build” strategy against insurgents.
“Our mission will be to secure our area of operation, hold that area, and then, at a said time, to turn that area over to the ISF,” said Sgt. Maj. John Bagby, the brigade’s operations sergeant major.
Paratroopers’ special training and ability to adapt to changing circumstances makes them uniquely suited to overcome the obstacles of counter-insurgency warfare, Bagby said.
“They can turn on a dime if necessary, change missions, and still go out and execute,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that paratroopers from the Falcon Brigade are ready to go out into sector and take the fight to the enemy.”
The Falcon Brigade is one of the most combat-experienced units in the Army. Paratroopers from the 2nd BCT have deployed six times on short notice deployments since the Global War on Terrorism began. For many, this deployment marks their third or fourth tour of duty in Iraq...