The United States Army, citing the need for experienced troops to shore up security for the Iraqi elections, has extended the tour of duty for 6500
soldiers for two months.
WASHINGTON - The Army has extended by two months the Iraq tours of about 6,500 soldiers, citing a need for experienced troops through the Iraqi
elections scheduled for late January.
About 3,500 soldiers of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and 3,000 from the 1st Infantry Division headquarters will remain in Iraq two months
longer than planned, Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said Saturday.
The purpose, Whitman said, is to "maintain continuity of forces in the theater during the election period."
Roughly 135,000 American troops are in Iraq.
Whitman said the extensions will result in a net addition of about 3,500 troops in the country, since replacements for the 3,000 from the 1st Infantry
will delay their arrival until after the elections.
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The soldiers belong to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division and the 1st Infantry Division. The request for the extension came from Army General
George Casey who is the top commander in Iraq.
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