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February 17, 2012 at 9:53 PM

JBLM soldiers to protect security gains in Afghanistan

In a nine-month deployment that will begin in late spring, the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division from Joint Base Lewis-McChord will seek to hang onto some of the security gains made in recent years in the southern Afghanistan province of Kandahar.

“It’s critical that we sustain that momentum,” said the brigade commander, Col. Barry Huggins in a Friday briefing with reporters.”

The deployment will take place in a period when the overall numbers of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan will be on decline as more security responsibilities shifts to Afghan forces.

Many of the U.S. units scheduled to serve in Afghanistan in the months ahead will be at partial strength, and embed training teams in Afghan forces. But the 2nd Brigade will deploy at its full strength of some 4,000 soldiers, and Huggins said the unit will be involved both in training and providing “combat power.”

The brigade utilizes the eight-wheeled Strykers. In Afghanistan, the 2nd Brigade soldiers are expected to use Strykers built with double V-shaped hulls that offer better protection from road-side bombs than the flat bottoms on earlier models.

Comments | More in General news | Topics: Afghanistan, Col. Barry Huggins, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

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