Army Announces Winter Deployments to Europe, Afghanistan

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Soldiers with the Army's 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, center, and role players conduct a mission rehearsal exercise on Jan. 15, as an HH-60 Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopter lands to pick up those with simulated injuries.The 1st SFAB is currently deployed to Afghanistan. (Stars and Stripes photo/Corey Dickstein)
Soldiers with the Army's 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, center, and role players conduct a mission rehearsal exercise on Jan. 15, as an HH-60 Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopter lands to pick up those with simulated injuries.The 1st SFAB is currently deployed to Afghanistan. (Stars and Stripes photo/Corey Dickstein)

The U.S. Army has announced winter deployments for four units, two of which are heading to Afghanistan amid thinning hopes that the U.S. will reach a peace deal with the Taliban.

The Army's 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB), stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, will deploy to Afghanistan to replace the 2nd SFAB in a continuing effort to train Afghan security forces, according to a recent service news release.

"We are prepared to advise, support, liaise and assess our partnered foreign security force as they work to bring peace and stability to their country," Brig. Gen. Charles Masaracchia, 3rd SFAB commander, said in the release.

The 10th Mountain Division Combat Aviation Brigade, stationed at Fort Drum, New York, will also deploy to the war-torn country to replace the 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel, the release states.

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Last week, the latest round of peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban ended without a deal that would include the withdrawal of thousands of American troops from Afghanistan in return for assurances from the Taliban that the country will not be a base for extremist groups in the future.

Doubts about the deal continue to rise after an extremist affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria detonated a bomb Sunday in the middle of a wedding in Kabul, killing 63 people and wounding hundreds more.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Monday that the Taliban were also responsible for an attack on the country's 100th Independence Day.

The Army's winter deployments announcement also included two combat units that are scheduled to deploy to Europe in an ongoing effort to deter Russian aggression.

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, stationed at Fort Hood, will replace the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, as part of a regular rotation to support the United States' commitment to NATO, according to the release.

"While in Europe, the troopers of this brigade will continue to increase their readiness while supporting the United States' effort to deter aggression," Maj. Gen. Paul Calvert, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, said in the release. "In doing so, our allies will be assured of the enduring commitment of the U.S. to security in Europe."

The 3rd Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade, stationed at Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, will also deploy to Europe to replace the 1st Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade, the release states.

"Marne Air Soldiers trained hard and are ready for this important mission or anything else the nation needs," Maj. Gen. Antonio Aguto Jr., commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, said in the release.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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