December 16th, 2014 17:55 EST
Details Still in Works for Deploying Troops to Iraq
By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
While some 1,500 U.S. service members will advise, assist and train Iraqis in the coming months, deployment orders have not been issued yet, Pentagon spokesman Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said today.
Sourcing details for the troops are still being worked out, Kirby told reporters.
The 1,500 personnel are a part of the $1.6 billion Iraqi Train and Equip Fund under the new National Defense Authorization Act, he added, which has yet to be signed into law.
For now, U.S. Central Commander Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III has begun to use some resources already in place, Kirby said.
Gen. Austin has taken advantage of resources he has in the region to begin to set the stage, " he said.
Some 50 to 60 CENTCOM troops are now performing some advise-and-assist operations and missions in Anbar Province, and nearly 200 more troops are beginning to build out the infrastructure, " Kirby said.
Advisers are working with Iraqi leaders in their outreach efforts with Sunni leaders, he noted.
We want the Iraqis to do that, " Kirby said. That`s part and parcel of the whole advise-and-assist mission: to help them be more inclusive, more comprehensive and better at what they`re doing in terms of defending their own people in Anbar. "
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is encouraged " that Iraqi leaders understand the importance of being more inclusive and reaching out to the Sunni tribes, " Kirby said.
But the secretary also understands that some energy and leadership " is required. He knows this is a new government and new ground they have to tread, " the press secretary added.
The Iraqi Train and Equip Fund supports Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S-led mission to degrade and defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq and Syria.
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