Cucolo: More Third ID deployments

By Dal Cannady - bio | email

FORT STEWART, GA (WTOC) - President Barack Obama signed the order to send some 17,000 more troops into Afghanistan and now we learn some of our troops may be heading there sooner than expected.

Third Infantry Division commander Major General Tony Cucolo and other leaders are starting to talk about the next deployment not as an if, but a when. He says a brigade or more could be sent to Afghanistan as part of the President's plan.

But at least part of the division will be heading back to Iraq by the end of the year.

"We're inside 34 weeks till our next deployment," said Cucolo. "The division headquarters, our brigade from Fort Benning and a brigade here are currently scheduled to go to multi-national headquarters in northern Iraq."

The units involved will begin training for this assignment later this year.

Commanders have been talking since 2007 about the division starting to deploy in segments so that some troops may be returning home just as others are getting back.

Even as the Army brings more troops to Fort Stewart, the times when they're all here or all gone may be few and far between.