NC Bases Will Have Thousands Of Servicemembers In Iraq

A defense department official says a brigade of soldiers based at Fort Bragg will be the first to move into Iraq under President Bush's plan to increase troop levels in the troubled nation.

Bush is expected to announce tonight that up to 20-thousand troops will be put on alert before month's end under the plan.

Fort Bragg's 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division is already position to enter Iraq. The brigade of 35-hundred paratroopers was sent on short notice to Kuwait and arrived last week.

North Carolina bases already have more than 6,000 Marines and soldiers on duty in Iraq and more than 23,000 are slated to deploy there in coming months.