The 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team will be deployed to the US mainland beginning on October 1 for 12 months. The brigade has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq helping restore essential services and keeping order. Are they nervous that we may riot over the current financial crisis? The $700 billion bailout, spread out over 200 million voters, comes to $3.5 million per person. Or maybe it's the fact that the current war in Iraq reminds a lot of people of the futility of the Vietnam war (which was vigorously protested). A current film called "The Battle in Seattle" may revive memories of that time among frightened citizens.
Now this division is being placed under the direct control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command here in the U.S. They are being deployed as an on-call federal response force for emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.
The last time a military deployment took place in the U.S. was during Hurricane Katrina, and active duty units were deployed to the stricken areas.
However, this new mission for the brigade is the first time that an active unit has been assigned to NorthCom. The Northern Command was established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense. Their training is taking place at Fort Stewart, and includes such things as how to deal with a large high explosive or nuclear attack, and the use of the first nonlethal weapons package ever deployed by the U.S. Army, which is designed to subdue rioters without killing them.
The new deployment will also include Air Force engineer and medical unites, the Marine Corps Chemical and Biological Initial Reaction Force, and elements of the Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. To learn more about the brigade being deployed, click here.
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