Iraq & Afghanistan
The attacks on the United States by Islamic terrorists on 11 September 2001 started the US Army on a course of major change. Gone was the uncertainty over who the immediate enemy was or for what kind of war which Soldiers needed to prepare. Initially, the conflict seemed to be one in which Army special operations forces (SOF) would hold the preeminent mission, but within a year, Army conventional forces far outnumbered SOF units in terms of numbers and manpower deployed. Though the SOF community would play a more important role than ever in terms of the Army’s mission, ultimately in the subsequent war in Iraq, and in Afghanistan itself, US Army conventional forces would take the lead for, and bear the brunt of, the overall US and other Coalition Force major operations. In due course, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 16th Infantry would participate in multiple deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and the Horn of Africa as part of the Global War on Terrorism.