Less than half of the 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team will be going to Afghanistan in 2013, according to a letter posted to the 2nd BCT's Facebook page.
The letter, signed by Colonel Dennis Sullivan, the commander of the 2nd BCT, states "Less than half the brigade will deploy for the...mission and in coming weeks we will identify those units within the brigade that will deploy and those who will remain behind."
The letter also states the 2nd BCT's mission has changed to working as a 'Security Force Assistance Brigade.' In general, that means the 2nd BCT will be involved in advising and training Afghan forces.
The 2nd BCT has trained for several missions in Afghanistan, including combat.
North country Congressman Bill Owens told 7 News he learned of the change from Major General Mark Milley. Owens said the change is a sign of "winding down the Afghan war."
"We're moving in the direction of transferring responsibility to the Afghan military and Afghan police," Owens said.
"Truly, we are marching along toward the goal that has been established jointly by our military officers and the president in terms of winding down the Afghan war," Owens said.
The letter notes that training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California has been moved to mid-September. It was originally set for later this month. The letter does not spell out whether the whole brigade will go.
Captain Shane Sandretto, spokesman for the 2nd BCT, said the letter describes a 'potential' new mission, but final orders have not yet been issued.
Monday, March 10, 2014, Watertown, NY