Army to send 1,200 Alaska-based soldiers to Afghanistan

ANCHORAGE — The U.S. Army is set to send about 1,200 Alaska-based soldiers to Afghanistan this week to advise the country’s security forces.

The soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division from Anchorage’s Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson will deploy throughout the next month, Alaska Public Media reported ( on Wednesday.

Maj. David Cochrane, the unit’s operations commander, said most soldiers will be sent to eastern Afghanistan to advise and assist the country’s security forces.

The unit was last deployed to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. Cochrane said the new mission is expected to be less combat-oriented.

“We’re partnered with both the Afghan police — uniformed and border police — and then the Afghan national Army,” Cochrane said. “We’re really wanting to help them become more capable, and more able to defend their own nation, to conduct their own missions, and be independent of outside help.”

The deployment was first announced in April and is not connected with President Trump’s recent decision to send several thousand more troops to Afghanistan.