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American Forces Press Service

Standby Troops Deploy from Kuwait to Support 'Scales of Justice'

American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, March 15, 2006 A battalion task force from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division -- part of U.S. Central Command's "call forward force" in Kuwait -- has deployed to the Baghdad area, Multinational Force Iraq officials announced today.

Military officials said the deployment is part of a broader plan, known as "Scales of Justice," that includes repositioning Iraqi security forces and coalition forces in the run-up to the Shiia Muslim observance of Arbaeen and over the vulnerable period of the formation of the new Iraqi government.

Arbaeen commemorates a religious leader's martyrdom.

"I have discussed this with the Iraqi prime minister, and we found it prudent to provide this additional support. This short-term deployment will make a long-term contribution to Iraq's security and political progress," said Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Multinational Force Iraq commander. "The troops from the call forward force are trained, ready and available for such a mission."

The battalion task force will conduct joint operations in partnership with Iraqi security forces in the Baghdad area, officials said. Two Iraqi army battalions, three national police battalions and three coalition battalions will augment "Scales of Justice."

"We called forces forward to provide support to the ISF for a safe observance of the Arbaeen religious holiday and the formation of the new Iraqi government," Casey said.

The battalion task force will return to Kuwait after its mission is completed, officials said.

(From a Multinational Force Iraq news release.)


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