Family members of troops who deployed to the Middle East amid tensions in Iran have been told by leadership their loved ones are redeploying home, according to sources.
The troops in question are elements of the 82nd Airborne who deployed to the Middle East on January 1, 2020, as part of an immediate reaction force. Specifically, they include paratroopers who deployed as part of Task Force White Devils, as well as those attached to them.
There is no additional information for families of those who are not deployed with the task force.
No dates have been announced as to when they are expected home.
An 82nd Airborne spokesman said, “For operational security purpose we don’t talk about troop movements.”
“I would like to kindly encourage you all to be sensitive to the fact that there are still thousands of soldiers remaining in theatre and away from their loved ones for an unknown period of time,” a message to families read.
Members of Task Force White Devils deployed to the Middle East after Iran-backed Shia militia members killed an American contractor and wounded four service members in Iraq. President Trump ordered a counterstrike targeting those militia members. Several days later, pro-Iran supporters attacked the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
On Tuesday, December 31, the Pentagon announced Defense Secretary Mark Esper had authorized sending U.S. troops to the Middle East, including sending approximately 750 soldiers from an infantry battalion with the 82nd Airborne.
Two days later, the U.S. military killed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani, after reports he was planning attacks against more U.S. targets.
Since that strike, tensions have calmed somewhat between the U.S. and Iran, according to the U.S. commander in charge of the Middle East region.
President Trump, during his State of the Union address on Wednesday evening, who ran on a campaign of ending U.S. wars in the Middle East, said, “Our message to the terrorists is clear: You will never escape American justice. If you attack our citizens, you forfeit your life.
But, he added, “As we defend American lives, we are working to end America’s wars in the Middle East.”