KOLASHESKI

Maj. Gen. John Kolasheski speaks to area leaders Friday afternoon at the Flint Hills Regional Leaders Retreat at the Olathe Conference Center.

OLATHE — Following a busy 2018 with several deployments and redeployments, Maj. Gen. John Kolasheski, commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley, said it will slow down this year.

Kolasheski provided an update Friday about happenings at the base during the Flint Hills Regional Leaders Retreat in Olathe.

“Over the last year, pretty busy deploying and redeploying units,” he said. “This year, I think it’ll slow down some after our 2nd Brigade gets out the door.”

The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team is preparing for its next rotation to the Republic of Korea this year, Kolasheski said. He didn’t say how many soldiers were being deployed.

“The Army is using a rotational model,” he said. “As many of you know, we brought forces out of Europe, we brought forces out of Korea, so we’re backfilling them with rotational forces that do ... nine month rotations.”

The soldiers will depart next month.

Kolasheski’s statement comes after an U.S. airstrike that killed Iran General Qassem Soleimani at the beginning of January led to concerns about increased tensions and military action between the two countries.

In 2019, approximately 2,700 1st Combat Aviation Brigade soldiers deployed to Europe, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Kolasheski said they were with almost 4,000 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team soldiers executing operations for nine months.

The 1st Sustainment Brigade was in Afghanistan last year for nine months and was responsible for logistics and sustainment of United States forces there, Kolasheski said.

Also in 2019, the 1st Armored Brigade combat team traveled to several countries in Europe such as Germany, Poland, the Baltic states, Hungary, Romania and Bulgary for nine months.

Most of the Fort Riley soldiers returned home in October and November, Kolasheski said.

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