Hundreds of soldiers return to Georgia posts -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds of soldiers return to Georgia posts

July 15, 2003

(Fort Gordon-AP) -- While the Army has decided that thousands of Georgia-based soldiers will have to remain in Iraq indefinitely, hundreds of others are returning almost daily.

About 100 members of the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade returned to Fort Gordon in Augusta yesterday after an eight-month deployment to Kuwait and Iraq. Lieutenant Colonel Jim Edwards, commander of the 202nd, one of five battalions in the 513th Brigade, says the soldiers made an important contribution.

At Fort Benning, near Columbus, more than 600 members of the 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade returned yesterday, and another 275 arrived this morning. The Army says about 210 soldiers, mostly from the 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, returned to Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah yesterday, and another 650 were scheduled to return tomorrow.

A spokesman for Fort Gordon, home of the Army's Signal Corps, says about 700 soldiers, most of them members of the 93rd Signal Brigade, are still deployed in the Middle East.

The nine thousand troops who will remain in Iraq are members of the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat teams from Fort Stewart. Army officials had hoped to have them home by September, but they have been ordered to remain indefinitely.

The 3rd Division deployed 16,500 troops to Iraq and was a leading force in the assault on Baghdad. The division suffered 36 deaths, more than any other unit in the war, and some of its troops have been in the region since September.

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