About 1,250 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division will deploy to Iraq later this year, officials said Monday.
The soldiers from the division's 1st Brigade Combat Team will deploy in August or September, said Maj. Josh Jacques, a spokesman for the division.
The Fort Drum, New York-based soldiers are expected to deploy for nine months, and they will replace paratroopers from 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, who have been in Iraq since January, Jacques said.
The announcement about the soldiers' upcoming deployment came as new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited Fort Drum on Monday.
Carter thanked the troops for their service during his first domestic trip since being sworn in on March 6.
"Some of you are recently back from Afghanistan. Some of you are off again to Afghanistan," Carter said. "And some of you — and this is important — will be going to Iraq, to train, advise and assist the Iraqi security forces so that they can be the force that sustains the defeat of ISIL after ISIL is defeated, which it will be. But in order to sustain that defeat, we need a force on the ground, and that's what you'll be helping to create."
Carter acknowledged the troops' sacrifices, especially after more than a decade of war.
"I know it's not easy," he said. "We're asking a lot of you. That's why regionally aligned forces are going to be so important to our future. You all will continue to be, on our behalf, globally engaged, and I know that's challenging, but it's also incredibly important."
Col. Mark O'Donnell, commander of 1st BCT, said in a statement that his soldiers were ready for the Iraq mission.
"This brigade has a history of excelling in whatever mission we're given, so I expect our troops to do well by helping to train, advise and assist the Iraqi and peshmerga forces in the defeat of ISIL," O'Donnell said. "We recently completed training at the Joint Readiness Training Center, so our soldiers and families are fully prepared to succeed knowing that we're one of the most-trained and ready forces in our Army."
The brigade's last deployment, which ended in the fall of 2013, was a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.
There are almost 3,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, most of them soldiers.
American soldiers in Iraq are either training Iraqi troops at Building Partner Capacity sites across the country or advising and assisting the Iraqi troops who are engaged in the fight against the Islamic State.
The paratroopers from 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne deployed in late January as part of a 1,500-troop increase authorized last November by President Obama as the U.S. expanded its fight against the terrorist group.
Andrew Tilghman is the executive editor for Military Times. He is a former Military Times Pentagon reporter and served as a Middle East correspondent for the Stars and Stripes. Before covering the military, he worked as a reporter for the Houston Chronicle in Texas, the Albany Times Union in New York and The Associated Press in Milwaukee.
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.