Operation Iraqi Freedom II

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The second year in Iraq has been termed Operation Iraqi Freedom II, according to the November 14, 2003 edition of The Moutaineer, the Fort Carson post publication.

Operation Iraqi Freedom II was mentioned in a November 6, 2003 news briefing with Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

"As we've indicated, the bulk of the U.S. troops that are currently in Iraq will be rotating out beginning next, I guess, January, February, March, April, in that period. And they will, needless to say, be replaced. ... Iraqi Freedom II, which is the rotation that would go in next year."

Deployment Problems

Army Reserve Troops Deploy Again, USA Today, December 4, 2003:

"In another sign of the severe strain overseas deployments are putting on the nation's part-time troops, the Army Reserve is about to send 160 soldiers back to Afghanistan and Iraq 10 months after many returned from a one-year tour of duty overseas.

"Army officials said Monday that the move would mark the first time the Army had sent active or Reserve soldiers back to Afghanistan or Iraq less than 12 months after they returned home. That would violate a guideline set by Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army's top general. Several soldiers involved said privately that they worry the new missions will damage morale and re-enlistment rates."

"Military experts say the latest call-ups highlight the extreme demands on part-time National Guard and Reserve troops, who have been called up for much longer periods than in previous wars.

"The repeat call-ups also highlight the hurdles facing a military that is trying to transform itself in the midst of a long-term war on terrorism. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has vowed to shift a number of critical jobs now found in the National Guard and Reserve into the full-time military to make them easier to send overseas. But such changes probably won't come quickly or easily."

"Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the 205,000-member Army Reserve has re-mobilized about 4,600 soldiers for a second tour of duty. Until now, those who didn't volunteer to return sooner got at least a year between tours."

Pre-2004 deployments

  • From the City of Avondale, Arizona, Public Affairs Office, October 22, 2003: "the City of Avondale recently adopted an army unit out of Fort Bragg, N.C. Avondale's "adopted" troop is the D Company, 1st. Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division (Red Falcons), which consists of an elite unit of 128 paratroopers stationed in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom II."
  • David Freitas, Local soldiers headed to Iraq, MSNBC (San Luis Obispo, CA), November 6, 2003]: "40,000 U.S. Reserve and National Guard troops will be called to active duty, including the 143rd Field Artillery Regiment from Santa Maria. ... While it's not clear how many soldiers from Santa Maria will go overseas, approximately 1,000 California Army National Guard soldiers will serve as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom II...."
  • Grove Hill National Guard Unit could leave Dec. 7 for call-up, The Thomasville Times, November 19, 2003.
  • 711th will likely leave Dec. 7, Clarke County [AL] Democrat, November 20, 2003: "Mobilization orders are expected this week for the Alabama National Guard's 711th Signal Battalion. The troops, including Company B headquartered in Grove Hill, will likely leave Dec. 7 for Fort Stewart, Ga. in preparation to depart for Iraq. ... the entire battalion, about 800 soldiers, had received alert orders for Operation Iraqi Freedom II, but no mobilization orders had been received yet."
  • Local Guard Mobilization Update. Departure Date, Pending, JamestownUSA.com, November 28, 2003: "North Dakota Army National Guard soldiers assigned to the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion have received a mobilization date. The unit will enter active duty at their home stations in North Dakota on December 18, 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II."
  • Another Guard unit to mobilize, Bismarck Tribune, November 29, 2003: "A North Dakota National Guard unit -- including about 120 soldiers from the Bismarck area -- will mobilize soon for Operation Iraqi Freedom II. ... The 141st Engineer Combat Battalion will begin active duty Dec. 18. The unit will report to Fort Carson, Colo., sometime after Christmas ... About 525 soldiers make up the unit, including about 120 from Charlie Company, based in Bismarck, Hettinger and Mott. The unit is based in Valley City. ... The 164th Engineer Combat Battalion's Bravo Company in Williston and Charlie Company in Dickinson are being integrated into the 141st to bring it to full-strength. ... Up to 600 soldiers from those units were put on alert for possible mobilization earlier this month."
  • Guard to be federalized Dec. 18, The Williston [North Dakota] Herald, December 9, 2003: "Seventy National Guard soldiers from 164th ECB Company B of Williston will be among 475 troops federalized into active duty Dec. 18 under Operation Iraqi Freedom II. ... Together with the 141st ECB Company C, Detachment 2 of Hettinger; 141st ECB Company C, Detachment 1 of Mott; 141st ECB Company C of Bismarck; 141st ECB, Company B of Jamestown; and 141st ECB Headquarters and Headquarters Company HHC of Valley City, they will form the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion ECB. ... Each will enter active duty at their home stations Dec. 18, said Rob Keller, public information officer for the North Dakota Army National Guard in Bismarck."

2004 deployments

  • Fort Hood's III Corp preps for January deployment, MSNBC, December 12, 2003: "Fort Hood's III Corp Headquarters is preparing to take over command in Iraq and they're in the middle of one of the largest training exercises in Fort Hood's history. ... It's the first time Fort Hood or any military installation has ever hosted a joint integrated, combined and inter-agency training exercise. It means reserve, guard and regular force units of every branch of the military -- Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines -- are at Fort Hood along with coalition representatives and agencies such as the state and defense departments. ... They're all getting ready to take over command of Coalition Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF 7), the hub of activity in Iraq. It will be the people training right now on Fort Hood that will control what they're calling Operation Iraqi Freedom II, the second round of troops to deploy to Iraq."
  • 31 December 2003: "First New Troops Prepare For Iraq," AP: "...the National Guard's 512th Engineer Battalion [based in Cincinnati, Ohio], which will be among the first units to leave in the next wave of troops heading for Iraq."

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links


Articles & Commentary

  • 28 July 2003: "US Warned It Faces 'Third Gulf War' in Iraq" by Charles Clover, Financial Times/UK.
  • 23 September 2003: "Iraq Occupiers are Near Prisoners. Most US Soldiers Say They Just Want to Go Home" by Lee Siu Hin, Inter Press Service: "Not many of the U.S. soldiers in Iraq are quite troops either. Some are regular army mobilised from Germany, but many are reservists called to duty early this year. ... They were told at first they would be in Iraq for just a few just months. Now they are being told they must stay in Iraq until next spring."
  • 24 September 2003: "US May Call Up More Reservists for Iraq" by Edward Alden, Financial Times/UK.
  • 27 September 2003: "Another 15,000 U.S. Troops Told to Prepare for Iraq" by Charles Aldinger, Reuters.
  • 6 November 2003: "Number of Troops in Iraq to Expand. US Force to Grow by Up to 50,000" by Bryan Bender, Boston Globe: "The Pentagon has decided to dispatch thousands of Marines to Iraq early next year as part of a revised troop rotation that will swell the size of the US occupation by up to 50,000 troops during critical months when the United States hopes to hand off greater security responsibilities to Iraqis."
  • 7 November 2003: "Monroe battalion put on alert" by Chuck Cannon, thenewsstar.com: "Members of the three battalions were told to be prepared to tell their civilian employers, spouses and children that they may get the phone call to deploy. ... 'Their whole units are being put on alert status for possible mobilization for Operation Noble Eagle II, Operation Enduring Freedom II and Operation Iraqi Freedom II.'"
  • 20 November 2003: "Bush Says He'll Raise Troop Level in Iraq if Needed," Reuters: "President Bush said on Thursday he could increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, a statement that contrasts with Pentagon plans to reduce deployment ahead of the" U.S. presidential election, 2004.
  • 20 November 2003: "Army Cites Burdens Posed by Rotation. Huge Movement of Troops Set for 2004" by Bradley Graham, Washington Post: "All in all, Les Brownlee (the Army's acting secretary) noted, more than 120,000 reservists as well as elements from eight of the Army's 10 active-duty combat divisions will be on the move in the first four months of next year, either into or out of Iraq or Afghanistan. Counting active-duty troops, the number in transition will total 200,000 to 250,000, he said."
  • 26 November 2003: "Reserve, NG To Take Iraq Combat", AP: "The Pentagon's plan for replacing the 130,000 American troops in Iraq with a fresh contingent early next year will shrink the force by 20 percent, change its makeup and place more of the combat burden on the National Guard and Reserve. ... If carried out as planned, the switchout will result in a more mobile force, perhaps better suited to the guerrilla-style war that is taking a sobering toll in U.S. deaths and injuries."
  • 28 November 2003: "Army reservist accused of insubordination after questioning waiver", AP: "An Army reserve officer faces insubordination charges after he questioned the legality of a waiver that his battalion was asked to sign allowing their third deployment to a war zone since January 2002. ... [Capt. Steve McAlpin of 401st Civil Affairs Battalion] asked whether the battalion may be violating federal law by not allowing combat troops a required 12-month stabilization period at home."
  • 27 November 2003: "Reservists mobilized for Iraq, Afghanistan. Pentagon says more Marines needed in Iraq", CNN.com: "Troops and their families and employers will soon find out if they will be affected by the Pentagon's latest mobilization of 17,000 reservists for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. ... In addition those mobilized Wednesday, nearly 8,000 reservists have been alerted for deployment to Iraq and around 700 for deployment to Afghanistan."
  • 1 December 2003: "Marines Assessing Equipment Needs for 'OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM II', InsideDefense Newsletter: "In anticipation of what is being called "Operation Iraqi Freedom II," Marine Corps Combat Development Command is asking officers to report any equipment that is needed for their return to Iraq that is not presently at hand." (remainder of article must be purchased).