The soldiers will serve for a period of 9 months as part of the advise, assist, and train mission to help the Afghan army and police.
With 300 already deployed to Afghanistan, the deployment of the remaining soldiers will start this month with the brigade expected to take up the mission in mid-February.
“For many soldiers, it will be their first deployment,” Strong, from Syracuse, N.Y. told The Stars and Stripes newspaper. “They are very excited. Honestly, it is what a lot join the military for – to serve and defend the nation.”
Before their deployment to Afghanistan, the soldiers have gone on three rotations to combat training centers during that time – to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., in June 2015 and October-November 2016 and to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., in January 2016.
The brigade and its battalions also did extensive gated train-ups leading up to all of those rotations.
“As in any train-up, you’ve been training and you’ve been training, and it gets to the point where you are ready to go and do what you’ve been training so hard to do,” Strong said. -KP
THE PASHTUN TIMES