This Article is From our Tuesday January 7th 2020 issue and appears here in its entirety.
Three thousand additional troops from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg were deployed over the weekend to the Middle East as tensions with Iran increase following the airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. The 700 troops who deployed on New Year’s Day have already arrived in Kuwait.
According to family members, Landon Wright, a 2016 graduate of North Adams High School has been deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. In 2017, Wright joined the United States Army Infantry.
Paratroopers from 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team and 82nd Airborne Division were activated and deployed in response to the increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities.
This deployment is a precautionary action taken to respond to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities.
The Brigade is reportedly the center of the U.S. Immediate Response Force and is capable of rapidly deploying anywhere in the world in response to a variety of contingency operations.
Following the disturbance at the US Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week, the US deployed 700 troops from the same unit and said that additional deployments were possible.
The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the US killed Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, in a drone strike on Baghdad International airport ordered by President Donald Trump.
According to reports, intelligence showed Soleimani was in Baghdad following Tuesday’s embassy attack to plan future hits on United States targets with Iranian proxy forces. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Cable News Network (CNN) Friday that the strike was carried out to disrupt an “imminent” attack in the region.
The 82nd Airborne Division is an airborne infantry division of the United States Army, specializing in parachute assault operations into denied areas with a U.S. Department of Defense requirement to “respond to crisis contingencies anywhere in the world within 18 hours”. Based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 82nd Airborne Division is part of the XVIII Airborne Corps. The 82nd Airborne Division is the U.S. Army’s most strategically mobile division. More recently, the 82nd Airborne has been conducting operations in Iraq, advising and assisting Iraqi Security Forces.