JBLM rocket battalion heading back to Iraq

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Joint Base Lewis-McChord is preparing to send one of its artillery units to Iraq and Kuwait to help fight the Islamic State group.

The News Tribune reports that the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division is heading to Iraq to work with that country's army and with Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

They'll be joining about 3,500 U.S. military service members in Iraq. Defense Secretary Ash Carter outlined a plan earlier this month to help Iraq reclaim land the Islamic State seized almost two years ago, including the city of Mosul.

The JBLM battalion is made up of about 150 soldiers who fire the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, which can strike targets with satellite-guided rockets.

The battalion last served in Iraq in late 2011.