Back From Iraq? Time To Go Back

The Gazette writes today on Fort Carson’s 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, based in Colorado Springs. The reported 3,600 soldier strong team is supposed to come home next month, after a second tour of duty in Iraq.

But, if an Army plan to keep the current amount of soldiers in Iraq until 2010 is realized, that may mean yet another deployment for the Brigade. From the article:

That could mean the Pentagon will follow through on contingency plans to send Fort Carson’s 3,600-soldier 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team back to war in October 2007, less than a year after its planned return to Colorado next month.

The return trip to Iraq would be the brigade’s third deployment there since the war began in 2003. The possibility of the return was explained to soldiers by brigade commanders in July and drew mixed reactions.

Some soldiers said there is nothing surprising about the quick turnaround and expressed willingness to return to war. Others said the spectre of a third war tour has hurt morale in the unit and devastated families who expected the Army to follow through on stated goals to start giving soldiers two years at home between war tours.

The Army also said that redeployment might not happen if troop levels are reduced, although there are no clear plans for that in the future.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at