Odierno: Iraq drawdown on schedule

July 21, 2010 at 4:02 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 21 (UPI) -- U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno said Wednesday U.S. forces in Iraq are on schedule to meet their 2011 drawdown target.

"I feel very comfortable that we will be at 50,000, probably by the last week of August," Odierno said Wednesday during a Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington, adding that the military is ahead of schedule in terms of drawing down equipment from Iraq.

The military has already removed 40,000 vehicles and more than 1 million pieces of equipment from the country, meeting 95 percent of the equipment drawdown target. Twenty-thousand of those vehicles have been transferred to Afghanistan.

Seventy-thousand U.S. troops are currently stationed in Iraq -- down from 145,000 in January 2009. Odierno said the 50,000 troop target for August will likely remain steady for a year, with the final phase of the withdrawal beginning in September 2011.

The military had 608 facilities in Iraq at the height of U.S. activity in 2007. That number now stands at 112 and is expected to fall to 94 by September, Odierno said.

All U.S. combat forces are scheduled to leave Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011.

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