The Pentagon announced Tuesday that it has begun to deploy initial assessment teams in Iraq.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters that "two special operations teams of approximately 40 personnel previously assigned to the embassy through the Office of Security Cooperation have started their new mission." He added "in addition, approximately 90 additional troops assigned to help stand up the Baghdad Joint Operations Center have arrived on station in Baghdad." Kirby indicated that within the next few days "these troops will be joined by four additional teams of approximately 50 people total who will deploy to Iraq from within the Central Command region." He noted that these teams "will assess the cohesiveness and readiness of Iraqi security forces, hire headquarters in Baghdad, and examine the most effective and efficient way to introduce follow-on advisers." He added that the teams will begin their assessments "immediately and provide their findings through the chain of command within the next two to three weeks." Kirby affirmed that "we continue to fly routine and regular ISR (Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance) missions over Iraq to the tune of about 30 to 35 flights per day to help us gain better insight about the security situation on the ground.
"This continued effort will no doubt aid our assessment teams as they begin their important work," he stressed