Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan 4 [OEF-A 4/5]
US Forces Order of Battle
01 July 2004
This is a "best available" order-of-battle of forces deployed in CENTCOM's part of Central Asia. The amount of publicly available information concerning aircraft types and specific units has diminished to the point that it is no longer possible to provide a high fidelity profile of current deployments. There are evidently significant gaps in unit identifications, as well as non-trivial uncertainties as to numbers of specific types of aircraft. The presence of significant numbers of civilian contractor personnel at various facilities in the region further complicates accounting for total personnel numbers.
Excluding forces deployed in direct support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, there are about 20,000 military personnel in the CENTCOM area of responsibility.
OEF-A usually has roughly a brigade-plus sized unit located throughout Afghanistan. Rotations occur every 6 months and take over a month to complete. A name for the rotation has yet to be identified. In March 2004 OEF-A 5 was due to begin rotating into Afghanistan. A brigade from the 25th Infantry Division (Light) began deploying to Afghanistan in late March.
It is believed that the total Army presence in the region is nearly 10,000 soldiers. The Marine Corps are believed to have roughly 4,200 Marines in the region.
- The 1st Bn, 168th Infantry comprising about 700 soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in late May 2004. There the unit is called Task Force 168.
- The Tallahassee Democrat reported on June 18, 2004, that approximately 1,000 Florida National Guard troops were likely to called up in Spring 2005 to deploy to Afghanistan on a training mission. Later reports memntioned that troops concerned would drawn from the 53rd Infantry Brigade.
- According to a Salt Lake Tribune story from June 8, 2004, members of the 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group began arriving back at Fort Bragg, NC in early June for debriefing before a return home to Utah, tentatively scheduled for June 16. The unit deployed to Afghanistan in August 2003.
- According to a Roanoke Time & World News story, the 3-116 Infantry, 29th Infantry Division was training at Fort Polk, LA, for deployment to an unannounced destination, most likely Afghanistan, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit had been mobilized three months prior and was due to complete training in the forthcoming weeks.
- A St Petersburg Times story from June 2, 2004 reported that the 1-62 ADA was deployed with the 25th ID and was stationed at Kandahar.
- By mid-May 2004 most of the soldiers of the 1st BDE, 10th Mountain Division had returned to Fort Drum, NY.
- Various Marine Corps News stories issued beginning on or about May 18, 2004 indicate that the 22nd MEU and other Marine elements in Afghanistan are under Combined Joint Task Force 76.
- An Army photograph identifies a soldier from the 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment as being in Afghanistan, specifically at Gulbahar.
- An Army photograph released on May 12, 2004 identifies soldiers from the 450th MP Company as being in Afghanistan.
- The Associated Press reported on May 19, 2004 that a soldier from the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group had died in Afghanistan. Chief Warrant Officer Bruce E. Price was attached to an element of the 1st BN, 3rd SFG operating in Afghanistan.
- The Associated Press reported on May 16, 2004 that 700 soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment would deploy to Afghanistan as soon as May 17 to form Task Force 168.
- The Honolulu Advertiser reported May 4, 2004 that two soldiers from the 84th Engineer Battalion (25 ID) had been killed in Afghanistan, and that a soldier from the 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery had been wounded.
- By late April 2004 a brigade rotation was underway, as forces from the 25th Infantry Division were on their way to the region and the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division were rotating out. On April 30, 2004, General Abizaid indicated that there were roughly 20,000 American troops in Afghanistan and that this number was due primarily to the brigade rotation and the presence of Marines taking place in Mountain Storm.
- The Fayetteville Observer reported on April 29, 2004 that the 4th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment had departed Afghanistan and returned to the US on April 10.
- On April 23, 2004 the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment was identified as operating in Afghanistan. This identification was made when the death Pat Tillman was made public.
- On 15 April, 2004 a ceremony marking the Transfer of Authority from the 10th Mountain Division to the 25th Infantry Division (L), was held at Bagram Air Field. The 25th Infantry Division Headquarters, Division Artillery Headquarters, the Aviation Brigade, Support Brigade and the 3rd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Afghanistan in April 2004 for a one-year tour of duty. The Division Headquarters is stationed at Bagram Air Base and is serving as the headquarters for the Combined Joint Task Force composed of all Coalition forces in Afghanistan. The Support Command is also stationed at Bagram Airbase and is serving as the Joint Logistics Command. Aviation Brigade elements are stationed at Bagram and Kandahar Airbases. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team is deployed in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border.
- On March 31, 2004 the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit began to deploy to Afghanistan via verticle insertion. Roughly 2,200 Marines will be involved in the deployment.
- The Honolulu Advertiser reported on March 25, 2004 that roughly 250 soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment departed Hawaii for Afghanistan. OEF-4/5 rotation is underway.
- CNN reported on March 25, 2004 that the Department of Defense had ordered the deployment of some 2,000 additional Marines to Afghanistan to take part in operations there. The report did not indicate what unit would be involved, but the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit is currently in the Persian Gulf embarked aboard ships of the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group. Later reports from CNN indicated that the Marines would arrive sometime in late April, which may indicate that the 22nd MEU is not involved. A later report from the Department of Defense confirmed that the unit in question was the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.
- Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 769 was identified as taking part in Operation Mountain Storm. The unit is equipped with AH-1W helicopters.
- The 354th Fighter Squadron was reported to be at Bagram Airfield. While this is only now being reflected on this page, the deployment of the unit is believed to have take place some time ago.
- Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 769 deployed to Afghanistan in mid March 2004. The unit is expected to remain in the region for roughly 7 to 8 months. 150 Marines deployed with the unit.
- The Daily News of Los Angeles reported on March 14, 2004 that Heavy Marine Helicopter Squadron 769 began departing for Afghanistan on or about March 11, 2004. Roughly 150 Marines are involved in the deployment, which will last for roughly 8 months.
- The Duluth News Tribune reported on March 11, 2004 that the 367th Engineer Battalion would deploy to Afghanistan in April 2004. [Update: The Bn deployed to Bagram AB]
- The 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment was identified as being in Afghanistan, according to CTF Warrior's paper.
- The Sunday Telegraph reported on March 7, 2004 that the Special Air Service elements operating in Afghanistan, was the 21 SAS Battalion.
- The State News Service reported on January 21, 2004 that three airmen from the 20th Special Operations Squadron had been killed in Afghanistan.
- In August 2003 the Army directed that the 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade would deploy to Afghanistan beginning in February 2004 followed by the 3rd Brigade in August 2004. Both brigades would serve six month tours of duty.
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