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General: Next deployment likely in late 2009
MG Rick Lynch talks with reporters on Fort Stewart Friday. - photo by Photo by Jessica Duncan
By Joe Parker Jr.
June 28, 2008

As the U.S. Army's Third Infantry Division continues its redeployment from Iraq, its commander, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch reminded reporters Friday that soldiers from the division will likely be heading back to Iraq in the latter half of 2009.
Lynch referred to the "patch chart" used in Army Force Generation models that projects Army needs and assignments several years in advance.
"There's a lot of uncertainty out there," Lynch said, "so you can never say things are definitive. Given today's situation and the current projections, it looks like all dog-faced soldiers will have 16 to 18 months home before they go back to Iraq."
The same estimate was made by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a recent visit to Fort Stewart.
Army units being sent to Iraq now are scheduled for 12-month deployments.
Lynch himself is scheduled to depart in a couple of weeks for Fort Hood where he will get a corps command and a third star. That assignment will likely carry him back to Iraq at the same time some of the 3rd ID units will be returning.
The general appeared to enjoy telling reporters he had become known as "the fish-farming general" because of the work he and his soldiers had done developing economic capacities in Iraq,
Lynch said, "Iraqis are just like we are. They want the same things we want. They want better lives for themselves and for their children."
Providing things like fish, a major food source for Iraqis, goes hand in hand with the improvements in security and government, the general said.
In addition to the fish projects, Lynch said, "We brought 90,000 chicken eggs from Holland," which were placed in incubators and used to improve the local poultry industry. "I can answer any question you might want to ask about chicken farming," he said.
Lynch said one purpose of his meeting Friday was "to thank all of you in the coastal Georgia communities for the support you have given us."
"During the time we were in Iraq, I never had to worry a single moment about the families back home.
"Sarah (his wife) and I have never served in a place where the community cared so much. And they don't just say they care, their actions speak louder than words."
Lynch said it would be a sad day for him when he had to remove the shoulder patch identifying him as a member of the 3rd Division. But he will always be wearing the 3rd ID patch on his right sleeve, he said. (Soldiers wear on their left shoulders a patch representing a division with which they have gone into combat.)
Lynch distributed a tri-fold leaflet from his final week in Iraq, dated June 1, packed with statistics telling the Marne Division's story. An 89 percent decrease in all forms of attack was shown, along with a 95 percent drop in civilian casualties, a 91 percent decrease in Multi-National Division-Center casualties and a 79 percent drop in Iraqi security force casualties.
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