4-25 brigade is set for Afghan deployment

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Soldiers from JBER's 4th Brigade Combat Unit, 25th Infantry Division are headed back to Afghanistan.

As early as next week, roughly 1,200 soldiers from the 4-25, which is about 1/3 of the total Spartan Brigade, will begin being deployed to eastern Afghanistan, and different bases scattered around the country.

"The Spartan brigade is focused on training and advising the Afghan security forces, who are partnered with both the Afghan police, uniform and border police, and the Afghan army," said Maj. David Cochrane, 4-25 Brigade Operations Manager. "We're really wanting to help them become more capable and more able to defend their own nation."

Maj. Cochrane says the assist and advise role of the 4-25 will help the Afghan Army and Police become better managers of their resources. He says that will start at the organizational leadership level, where the 4-25 will focus on improvements to systems, processes and the leadership.

"It's an amazing opportunity," said Maj. Cochrane. "It's a challenge and ultimately we're ready to do it."

Although deployment begins next week, it will take about a month for the entire brigade to reach Afghanistan. Once on the ground, it will take about a month before the 4-25 'owns' the mission. The remainder of the Spartan Brigade will remain in Alaska.

"We retain the capability to support the pacific missions, as well as the Alaska missions we may have," Maj. Cochrane said. "So there are some soldiers here that will have that mission, and know that they're not going to Afghanistan because they're available for Alaska, or anything in the pacific that may arise."

The last time the 4-25 was deployed to Afghanistan was in 2013.

A deployment ceremony for the soldiers headed to Afghanistan is scheduled for September 8th. The 4-25 will be in Afghanistan for about 9 months.