2,500 JBLM soldiers deploying to Afghanistan

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP) -- Joint Base Lewis-McChord held a deployment ceremony Tuesday to bid farewell to the 3rd Stryker Brigade for the fourth time in eight years.

The News Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/rCSEIO ) only 2,500 of the 4,200 soldiers in the brigade are taking part in this year-long deployment.

The commander, Col. Charles Webster Jr., says a full brigade is not needed as U.S. forces are drawn down. Some remaining soldiers are scheduled to go to Afghanistan next year and others will continue to train at Lewis-McChord.

The 3rd Stryker Brigade was the first Stryker brigade to go to war with the eight-wheel Stryker vehicles in Iraq in 2003. The Army now has eight such units.

This time the 3rd Stryker Brigade is leaving Strykers behind and will drive other armored vehicles already in Afghanistan.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com