Mullen: 16,000 troops have orders to Afghan war

AP News
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 3:28 PM

The Pentagon's top military officer says 16,000 troops have received their orders for Afghanistan since President Barack Obama announced his new war strategy.

Adm. Mike Mullen said at a news conference Thursday that the first to go _ a battalion of Marines _ will arrive in southern Afghanistan next week.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman said tens of thousands of tons of construction materials, winter gear and other equipment also are in the pipeline.

Officials are moving to get the bulk of the 30,000 additional troops into the war zone by summer.

(This version CORRECTS that Mullen said he would try to get bulk of troops, not full buildup, into war zone by summer.)