Several Iowa National Guard soldiers are getting the word they will be deployed overseas by next fall. Iowa National Guard spokesman, Major Mike Wunn, says they began notifying the soldiers this weekend.
Wunn says the Iowa National Guard received an alert from the federal government Friday for a “significant” deployment in support of “overseas contingency operations.” He says they are in the process of notifying families and soldiers. A published report says the deployment will involve the Second Brigade of the 34th Infantry Division, which has about 3,500 soldiers. That would be the largest deployment since World War Two.
Wunn says he cannot go into specifics until federal officials release the information. He says once the Department of Defense releases the number of soldiers, their unit and location, the Iowa Guard will hold a press conference Tuesday to announce the information. Wunn says there are just under 500 Iowa guard members now on active duty.
Wunn says there are about 450 soldiers now deployed. He says some 300 airmen will soon leave for a deployment and some 300 soldiers are expected to return from a deployment at the end of the month. The Iowa National Guard has been a major contributor to the war on terrorism, with over 10,000 soldiers deployed since September 11th.
The soldiers in the new deployment would go on active duty in the fall of 2010.