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Army deploys combat unit in US for possible civil unrest
by wsws (reposted)
Thursday Sep 25th, 2008 7:35 AM
Thursday, September 25, 2008 :For the first time ever, the US military is deploying an active duty regular Army combat unit for full-time use inside the United States to deal with emergencies, including potential civil unrest.
Beginning on October 1, the First Brigade Combat Team of the Third Division will be placed under the command of US Army North, the Armys component of the Pentagons Northern Command (NorthCom), which was created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with the stated mission of defending the US homeland and aiding federal, state and local authorities.

The unitknown as the Raidersis among the Armys most blooded. It has spent nearly three out of the last five years deployed in Iraq, leading the assault on Baghdad in 2003 and carrying out house-to-house combat in the suppression of resistance in the city of Ramadi. It was the first brigade combat team to be sent to Iraq three times.

While active-duty units previously have been used in temporary assignments, such as the combat-equipped troops deployed in New Orleans, which was effectively placed under martial law in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, this marks the first time that an Army combat unit has been given a dedicated assignment in which US soil constitutes its battle zone.

The Pentagons official pronouncements have stressed the role of specialized units in a potential response to terrorist attack within the US. Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff, attended a training exercise last week for about 250 members of the unit at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The focus of the exercise, according to the Armys public affairs office, was how troops might fly search and rescue missions, extract casualties and decontaminate people following a catastrophic nuclear attack in the nations heartland.

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