FORT HOOD, Texas — III Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Pat White and around 250 soldiers are deploying to U.S. Central Command to fight ISIS.
In a ceremony Wednesday morning, Lt. Gen. White outlined the importance of taking the fight to insurgents in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
“This is a righteous mission. As all of you sitting here understand, ISIS is pure evil and we have to fight them where they are in the world.” White said. “Our mission remains the same. The enduring defeat of ISIS downrange with the largest coalition that has ever been formed downrange.”
III Corps soldiers will be serving an advising role in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. White has been the III Commander for two months, but he said he has great faith in his soldiers as they prepare for the year-long mission.
“Those soldiers who are out there and behind you, representing America's finest, always exhibited the best and most professional force in the world,” White said.
White said some soldiers already deployed and touched down in Kuwait Wednesday where they integrated into a larger staff that is part of the Combined Joint Task Force that is leading Operation Inherent Resolve. He said that, despite years of war against ISIS that have gone by, they have an opportunity to make significant progress.
“We have the opportunity to put the heel of our boot square on the forehead of ISIS,” White said.
White told media the ISIS caliphates in Syria and Iraq were destroyed in the last two years but the terrorist organization had remained persistent and there is still a “low level insurgency” in both countries. He said their mission is to ensure they will stay at that level.
“Success means, the Iraqi security forces, the government of Iraq and our Syrian partners have the capability and capacity to deal with the threat to their countries on their country’s soil,” White said. “That we have given them enough capability that the capability of our adversary cannot be exported to other countries.”
White said one main task will be to prevent ISIS from setting up “nodes” or places that can communicate with and organize ground forces. White said it will be the coalitions job to keep the enemy disorganized, while Iraqi forces hunt down and destroy them.
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