Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The slimming down of the U.S.-led occupation in neighboring Iraq can be seen in this city's main port, where the four Army divisions being shifted out of Iraq are sending home far more heavy weapons and gear than the replacement troops are bringing in.

The Army's 4th Infantry Division, which currently occupies a swath of Iraq north of Baghdad, will require 19 of the Navy's massive "roll-on, roll-off" or Ro-Ro ships to carry away its vast collection of tanks, armored vehicles and heavy bridging equipment, Army Maj. Faris Williams, the Army's operations officer at the port of al-Shuaiba, said Monday.

The Army's 1st Armored Division, which has just begun pulling out of Baghdad, will need as many as 20 ships, Williams said.

By contrast, the Army's 1st Infantry Division, which will replace the Tikrit-based 4th Infantry in the coming weeks, is arriving in Kuwait on just five Ro-Ro ships, Williams said.

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