Sunday, May 22, 2011

Soldiers notified to prepare for deployment


Some 448 soldiers from five Oklahoma Army National Guard units have been put on notice to begin preparing for deployment to Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.

Most of the soldiers are from eastern Oklahoma.

"The notification serves as an authorization to begin training in preparation for the possible mobilization and deployment of the unit but does not constitute an official alert or mobilization," said Lt. Col. Max Moss, Guard spokesman.

Most of the troops who were notified are set to deploy to Afghanistan.

Those troops include the 120th Engineer Battalion's Headquarters Company and Company A, based in Okmulgee and Okemah, respectively. About 175 Army engineers from both communities would deploy sometime next summer.

Another 164 soldiers with the 1220th Engineer Company (Horizontal Construction) at Muskogee may also deploy to Afghanistan in the spring of 2013.

Also, another 39 soldiers from the 1120th Engineer Team at Muskogee may be deployed to Kuwait in early 2013. The unit specializes in asphalt paving.

Aside from the Engineers, 62 soldiers from Detachment 1, Company C, 2-148 Aviation in Lexington were informed that they may deploy in late 2012 in support of Operation New Dawn in Iraq.

Another eight soldiers from Oklahoma City's Detachment 46 Operational Support Airlift were advised that they may be heading to the Horn of Africa in the summer of 2012.

Meanwhile, about 3,200 soldiers from Oklahoma's 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team continue to prepare to deploy to eastern Afghanistan within the next month.

The brigade has been training at Camp Shelby, near Hattiesburg, Miss., and for the past month has undergone more extensive training at Fort Polk, near Alexandria, La.

The troops are expected to start leaving for Afghanistan in June and will train there for nine months for a full range of duties, including combat patrols.

To date, more than 10,000 soldiers and airmen from Oklahoma have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since September 11, 2001.

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