165th Airlift Wing to Stay in Iraq - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/23/03

165th Airlift Wing to Stay in Iraq

The Army has approved a plan for rotating new soldiers into Iraq so it can relieve those now serving. The plan would allow troops who have served for nearly a year, such as some of the Third Infantry Division, to come back home. Officials say the plan calls for maintaining troops at their current level of about 145,000 by rotating in one-for-one replacements. 

Members of Georgia's 165th Airlift Wing, may not benefit as much from the rotation. These Georgia Air Guardsmen and women transport people and cargo in gigantic aircraft, the C130s. The Army's Third Infantry Division's extended deployment also means they'll need the 165th's service, expertise and equipment. Although a few may come home on rotation, Col. Ed Wexler expects that most will be there as long as the Third ID, if not longer.

"If we're lucky, we will be able to do a little rotation," he said. "But we just do not have a clear date as to when our folks are going to be released and when our job is done"

The colonel said that all they can do right now is focus on the welfare of the families of those soldiers right here at home.

Reported by: Grace Bohnhoff

Powered by Frankly