Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Peter Merriman announced on Wednesday that 150 British soldiers, based in Dhekelia, Cyprus, have been ordered to be deployed in southern Iraq.
Merriman told reporters that the troops, consisting of two rifle companies, will travel from Cyprus to Iraq this weekend and initially will come under the command of the Multi National Headquarters South East based in Basra, a port city in southeastern Iraq.
The men all selected from the Second Fusiliers are likely to be employed on security related tasks, said Merriman, adding that the exact duration of the deployment is unknown but is expected to last between four to eight weeks.
He said he was delighted that the opportunity to deploy at least part of the battalion has come because "this sort of short duration task is exactly what the Second Fusiliers have trained and prepared for and the Fusiliers themselves are looking forward to putting all their skills that they have learnt into practice."
The soldiers' families have been briefed on the deployment, Merriman said, adding that they will be kept updated on what is happening during the deployment period as the support system "Home Hackle" will provide practical help and general reassurance.
Families will keep in touch with their loved ones in Iraq through a variety of means, including e-mail, letters, parcels and free telephone calls, Merriman added.