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FORT DRUM TROOPS TO GO TO AFGHANISTAN IN 2006

About 8,000 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division will deploy to Afghanistan next year, leaving few troops remaining at Fort Drum in Northern New York, according to garrison commander Col. Emory Helton.

"Things are going to be pretty quiet around town for a while," Helton said Friday.

The 10th Mountain Division's headquarters, 3rd Brigade and portions of its aviation and support brigades will go to Afghanistan, along with the 4th Brigade based in Fort Polk, La., he said.

Post spokesman Benjamin Abel said troops are scheduled to leave for Afghanistan in February and March. "They will have responsibility for the entirety of the country," he said, similar to their role in 2001-02.

The 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Brigade is in Iraq and will be replaced by the 1st Brigade this summer. The 2nd Brigade won't be part of the Afghanistan deployment. The 1st Brigade is expected to stay in Iraq for about a year, Abel said.

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