FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — Fort Drum leadership has addressed the status of deployed soldiers as violence continues in the Middle East.
Over 2,500 soldiers within the 2nd Brigade Combat Team are currently deployed to Iraq and Syria in support of the Combined Joint Task Force- Operations Inherent Resolve. These soldiers were deployed from Fort Drum in July 2023.
In mid-October, Colonel Scott Wence, commander of the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team issued a letter to families of soldiers within the unit.
This letter discussed the well-being of 10th Mountain Division soldiers, as the Israel–Hamas war spreads across the Middle East.
Colonel Wence said in his letter that “some of our Soldiers have recently been put in harm’s way and this can rightfully cause concern.”
Reports have said that the war has rapidly raised the death toll in Gaza, and the U.S. fears the fighting could spark a wider conflict in the region. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also have confirmed that the U.S. Armed Forces are ready to respond if U.S. personnel become targets of the war.
However, Colonel Wence reassured families in his letter.
“Know that this Brigade is well-trained, disciplined, and uses every single available resource to keep one another safe,” Colonel Wence expressed in the letter. “Being in a combat zone comes with hazards but know that we do everything we can to make it as safe as possible. We have world-class equipment and are committed to our mission but will never hesitate to defend and protect ourselves.”
Colonel Wence urged families to connect with their soldiers through company programs.
A virtual town hall meeting has been scheduled for soldiers and families within the 2nd Brigade Combat Team. This will take place on Monday, November 20 and include remarks from Colonel Wence and Command Sergeant Major Donaldson.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.