Defense Secretary: Fort Drum-based unit will deploy to Iraq this year

In this March 3, 2015 file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Iran’s growing influence in Iraq is setting off alarm bells, and nowhere is the problem starker than in the high-stakes battle for Tikrit. It marks a crucial fight in the bigger war to expel the Islamic State group from Iraq, and yet Iran and the Shiite militias it empowers _ not the U.S. _ are leading the charge. Carter, under questioning from Sen. John McCain this week, acknowledged his concern when McCain asked if it alarms him that Iran “has basically taken over the fight.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (AP) -€” More than 1,000 soldiers based at Fort Drum in northern New York will deploy to Iraq this year to train and advise Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State group.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced during Monday’s visit to Fort Drum that about 1,250 Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team will head to Iraq this summer and fall. Carter says elements of the Warrior Brigade will assist Iraqis as part of the coalition campaign to defeat the Islamic militants.

The brigade’s last deployment was a nine-month stint in Afghanistan that ended in the fall of 2013.

Late last month, Fort Drum officials announced that more than 1,600 soldiers in the division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team will deploy to Afghanistan this spring and summer.

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