General Talks To 101st Airborne 2nd Brigade

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey says he's working on a way to reduce deployment time.

Casey spoke to the 350 soldiers with the 101st Airborne's 2nd Brigade who deployed yesterday for a tour of Iraq.

Casey says the soldiers should plan on a 15 month tour, but that he's in the process of working on how to lower the length of deployment. He did not indicate how he plans to do that.

The U.S. has about 165,000 troops in Iraq and plans to pull out at least 21,500 by July. Britain earlier this week announced a decision to halve its troop levels in Iraq by spring.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday it was too early to assess what troop levels would be required beyond next summer.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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