Army to Shorten Combat Tours

Three years between deployments
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2008 7:40 AM CST
U.S. army soldiers from Ghostrider Company, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment in the volatile Diyala province, about 60 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq. The pentago intends to reduce the length...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Pentagon aims to trim tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan from 15 months to a year with an eventual three years between deployments, the Army's top general told the Senate Committee on Armed Services yesterday. The change will be made after the military reduces troop levels this summer, Reuters reports, and commanders believe it possible even with a pause in the drawdown.

Army chief of staff Gen. George Casey, who has frequently said fighting two wars simultaneously has left the Army "out of balance," told the committee the switch is necessary to reduce the strain on troops. "If Gen. Petraeus is able to execute the announced plan of getting to 15 brigades by July, it would be our goal at that point to return to 12 months," Casey said. Fifteen-month tours have been in effect since April.