48th Brigade Combat Team's mission changes - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

48th Brigade Combat Team's mission changes

September 23, 2005

Albany-- Nearly five thousand soldiers are now re-assigned to security patrols and will be spread out all over Iraq. Since the 48th Brigade left for Iraq in May, they've been quite busy.

"We've provided training for the Iraqi Army, supported the Iraqi government and Army in their war on terror," Sgt. Maj. James Nelson. "We've provided the Iraqi people a safe and secure environment they can exist in, along with protect ourselves."

But now, they have a new mission. "I think it's keeping in line with the President's intent to draw down troops beginning next year and the actual mission that we're taking over is they won't bring a new brigade into the country to take it over so they're utilizing the 48th to take over that mission," said Nelson.

They're taking over for the 56th Brigade from Texas, which is leaving Iraq in December. 48th soldiers will now be spread out all over Iraq on a security mission. "We're going to be pretty well spread out across Iraq and it will take a lot of logistics to actuallly get to where our soldiers are at to ensure they're being taken care of and to check on them."

One of the 48th's four combat battalions will be dedicated solely to convoy security. Another will be posted at a base north of Baghdad to provide base security. A third will go to Tallil Air Base in southern Iraq as a security force. The fourth combat battalion will be directed west near the Syrian border to work with multi-national coalition forces.

And even though they have tough jobs ahead, their minds are never far from home. "We are concerned. We are aware of the disasters back home. They affect all of us. and a lot of soldiers who just left from Louisiana, we got a chance to meet them and express our feelings towards that," Nelson said.

Sgt. Major Nelson, who is from Sylvester, says the soldiers of the 48th Brigade held a fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims this week. The 48th is expected to return home in the spring.

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