The secretary of defense has approved the alert notifications of 4,228 Army, 1,290 Navy and 2,381 Air Force reserve component personnel for the second rotation of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF-2). This brings the total Guard and Reserve personnel that have been alerted for OIF-2 to 66,531. The secretary of defense also approved yesterday the mobilization of 9,900 Army, 1,290 Navy and 3,208 Air Force reserve component personnel for OIF-2. This brings the total Guard and Reserve personnel mobilized for OIF-2 to 56,504.
The secretary of defense has authorized the Marine Corps to deploy an additional three battalions with corresponding combat support and combat service support units for operations in support of OIF- 2. These battalions will bring the total number of brigades for OIF-2 to 14. The decision to deploy these additional units is the result of further detail planning for OIF-2.
The secretary of defense also approved the alert notifications of 567 Army, 100 Marine Corps and five Air Force reserve component personnel for the fifth rotation of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF-5) (Afghanistan). This brings the total Guard and Reserve personnel that have been alerted for OEF-5 to 4603.
The secretary of defense also approved the mobilization of 2,955 Army, 100 Marine Corps and 5 Air Force reserve component personnel for OEF-5. A total of 6,906 Guard and Reserve personnel have been mobilized for OEF-5.
This announcement is intended to foster the orderly and systematic rotation of troops into and out of the Central Command area of operations. This rotation is designed to allow for the maximum overlap between forces currently deployed and replacement units. This plan provides the capabilities required for the missions defined by the combatant commander.
The Ready Reserve includes members of both the Reserves and National Guard. As previously announced, deploying Reserve Component Army soldiers can expect to be mobilized for up to 18 months and be in theater for up to 12 months. Reserve Component Marines can expect to be mobilized for up to one year and be in theater for up to seven months. Those Service members serving in theater for 12 months are eligible to participate in the R&R Leave program between the end of their third month and before the start of their 11th month in theater. The total length of mobilization is dependent on the requirements of the combatant commander and the need for pre-deployment training and post-deployment requirements.
These alerts and mobilizations are consistent with our principle that we alert early to provide predictability and make sure that families and employers and others have a sense of ground truth, but mobilize as late as possible, still ensuring that training can be accomplished and arrival in theater by the latest arrival date that the commander requests.