FORT LEWIS, WA — Secretary Gates ordered the deployment of two additional combat units today, totaling more than 12,000 troops, to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His announcement includes Fort Lewis’ 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, which had been previously announced last September to deploy to Iraq.
This change does not affect the unit’s original deployment schedule announced in September – the brigade will still deploy in mid-summer 2009.
5th Stryker Brigade will deploy approximately 3,900 soldiers to Afghanistan. The Stryker Brigade, along with a Marine Expeditionary Brigade, will deploy to increase the capabilities of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, also known as the Strike and Destroy brigade, is the Army’s newest Stryker Brigade, and the fourth Stryker Brigade Combat Team to be formed, equipped and trained at Fort Lewis. The brigade was activated at Fort Lewis on May 4, 2007, and is commanded by Colonel Harry D. Tunnell IV. The brigade’s senior non-commissioned officer is Command Sgt. Maj. Robert A. Prosser.
The 5th Stryker Brigade’s Soldiers and equipment are currently at the U.S. Army National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., for the brigade’s Mission Rehearsal Exercise, which will last now through the end of February.
5th Brigade has the following subordinate battalions: 1st Battalion 17th, Infantry Regiment (Thundering Herd); 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment (Tomahawks); 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment (Always First); 3rd Battalion, 17th Fires Regiment; 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment; and 402nd Brigade Support Battalion. Additionally five separate companies are assigned: 572nd Military Intelligence Company; 562nd Engineer Company; Alpha Company, 52nd Infantry Battalion; 21st Signal Company; and Headquarters and Headquarters Company 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.