Hagel: US sending Army planners to Jordan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tells senators he is sending about 200 soldiers from an Army headquarters unit to Jordan to assist efforts to contain violence along the Syrian border and plan for any operations needed to assure the safety of chemical weapons in Syria.

The 1st Armored Division troops are largely planners and will replace a similar number of U.S. forces that have been in Jordan for some months. They will include specialists in intelligence, logistics and operations.

Sending a cohesive headquarters unit will enhance the troops’ ability to respond to any security needs, and will provide leadership personnel that could command additional forces if it’s determined they are needed in the future.

The unit is based at Fort Bliss, Texas. Hagel was speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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