More members of the Washington National Guard will leave this week for a yearlong deployment in the Middle East.
TACOMA — More members of the Washington National Guard will leave this week for a yearlong deployment in the Middle East.
About 80 soldiers with the 941st Personnel Services Battalion and 541st Personnel Services Detachment are expected to fly out of McChord Air Force Base in coming days. Guard officials said they did not know the troops’ specific destination.
“We’re fairly certain it will be someplace in Iraq,” said Master Sgt. Jeff Clayton, a Guard spokesman.
Soldiers gathered last night with their families and friends during a ceremony at Camp Murray, headquarters of the Washington National Guard.
The two units will join more than 3,340 Washington Guardsmen already working in Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia – 3,200 are with the 81st Brigade Combat Team, based mainly in Balad and Baghdad.
The deploying guardsmen will perform administrative duties such as record keeping for awards and promotions and tracking soldiers’ movements.
Another 20 guardsmen with the 144th Army Liaison Team are training at Fort Lewis for an assignment in Afghanistan where they will spend a year working with NATO and U.S. forces.
Meanwhile, the 122nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, the 116th Rear Area Operations Center from Ellensburg and the 248th Rear Area Operations Center from Port Orchard are three guard units nearing an end of their tours in Iraq.