Army to deploy 1,500 Ga. troops to Afghanistan

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - The Army says it plans to deploy about 1,500 soldiers stationed in southeast Georgia to Afghanistan starting next month.

A Fort Stewart spokesman, Lt. Col. Benjamin Garrett, said Wednesday two battalions from the post's 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team will deploy in February and April. The brigade's soldiers have served four times in Iraq since 2003, but this would be their first deployment to Afghanistan.

The Georgia troops are scheduled to deploy for nine months as the Army plans to shorten tours now that U.S. forces have left Iraq and are drawing down in Afghanistan.

The deploying soldiers make up a fraction of the more than 19,000 soldiers in the Fort Stewart-based 3rd Infantry Division. No other units in the division have received deployment orders.

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