While many soldiers are returning from duty overseas, a large group of Iowa National Guard troops is leaving. Sendoff ceremonies are being held today in four locations for the National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry. Companies A and D in Dubuque and Company B in Oelwein were bid farewell this morning, while ceremonies are planned for one this afternoon for Company C in Iowa Falls and at three P.M. for the Headquarters Company in Cedar Falls. Guard spokesman Colonel Robert King says the 500 citizen-soldiers will be headed west before they head east. The Iowa troops will head first to Fort Carson, Colorado, for training, then to Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula for a mission. The battalion is to take part in a planned multinational force and observer mission. Colonel King describes the expected length of this tour of duty. King says the training in Colorado will run about two months while the duty in the Persian Gulf will last about six months, though the federal duty could be extended to as long as two years. King was asked if this will be a dangerous mission, and says he doesn’t think so, as he says the region has remained pretty stable. The battalion is trained to perform a variety of offensive, defensive and security force duties.
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