U.S. Army soldiers from K Troop, Third Squadron, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, patrol in Mosul, Iraq Tuesday, March 25, 2008. The northern city is considered by the U.S. military as the last urban stronghold for al-Qaida in Iraq. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
After 15 months serving in Iraq, the first batch of soldiers from Fort Riley are about to return home. The soldiers were part of the 4th Brigade of the Big Red One sent to Iraq last year.. when the U.S. beefed up its troop levels. The units were sent to Baghdad, where officials planned ways to keep civil unrest in check, allowing the Iraqi government time to develop.
Fort Riley officials say the first 500 will come home Thursday. More are expected for the next two weeks. In all, 3,400 soldiers from the brigade will return.
General David Petraeus told members of Congrss that troop levels will continue to decline by 20,000 through the summer months, before taking a break.