1st ID Soldiers in Afghanistan ‘Maintaining Readiness’ Amid Troop Withdrawals

As the U.S. military begins pulling troops from Afghanistan because of a recent peace agreement with the Taliban, 1st Infantry Division officials at Fort Riley said Tuesday they have not received orders modifying the deployment schedule of its soldiers.

The deal, signed on Feb. 29 after more than a year of negotiations, outlined a timeline for withdrawing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a country with which the U.S. has been embroiled in war since 2001.

Lt. Col. Terence Kelley, director of public affairs for the 1st Infantry Division, said its soldiers will continue with their training and duties, responding wherever and whenever needed. He said he could not comment on how this deal may affect future missions or operations in the region as that decision would largely come from the U.S. Department of the Army or the U.S. Central Command.

“For us, at our level, we’re really just focused on maintaining readiness and making sure our troops and our units are prepared to execute whatever mission they’re assigned,” Kelley said.

The agreement is not a final peace deal and depends on the Taliban holding its end to prevent “any group or individual, including al-Qaida, from using the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.”

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