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U.S. Troop Levels in Iraq increasing
We have some very good contacts in Iraq who are distributing our care packages out to to the troops. We also have good care package contacts in Afghanistan and other austere areas in the Mideast, Africa and elsewhere.
A Marine Corps Times article (3/25/2016):
Title: "The Pentagon is planning to send more combat troops into Iraq"
"Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that he and Defense Secretary Ash Carter will recommend to the White House expanding the U.S military footprint there as Iraqi forces undertake a complicated, large-scale offensive to oust ISIS from its stronghold in the country's north."
"Currently, the U.S. force level in Iraq is officially capped at 3,870. But privately, defense officials say the real number is closer to 5,000 when accounting for troops considered to be there on 'temporary' deployment."
A Military Times article (3/26/2016):
Title: "U.S. official says Marines expanding combat role in Iraq"
"The White House has capped the number of U.S. forces in Iraq at about 3,870, but that total doesn't include as many as 1,000 troops who are there but exempt because of the military's personnel accounting system."
"The American combat role in Iraq appeared to expand on Thursday as U.S. Marines operating from a small outpost provided targeting assistance and artillery fire to support Iraqi troops inching forward to retake Mosul from Islamic State militants."
"Earlier this week, U.S. military officials confirmed the creation of the Marine outpost, dubbed Fire Base Bell. It's the first such base established by the U.S. since it returned forces to Iraq in 2014."
"On Thursday, however, the use of illumination rounds and artillery to support the forward advance of the Iraqi troops appeared to expand the Marines' role from purely security to more direct combat action, although the Marines were not on the front lines with the Iraqis."