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Oklahoma troops prepare for year-long deployment

DURANT, Okla. (AP) _ About 400 Oklahoma National Guard members receive an official send-off at the Choctaw Coliseum in Durant before a year-long deployment to Afghanistan.

The troops are part of the 1st Battalion, 180th Infantry, 45th Infantry Brigade that will deploy later this year with the Oregon National Guard's 41st Infantry Brigade.

The Guard members first will train in Camp Shelby, Mississippi. They will be part of a multinational task force whose mission will be to train and mentor soldiers in the new Afghan National Army.

An estimated 1,000 people turned out Thursday to wish the National Guard members well.

The 180th also has armories in Atoka, McAlester, Edmond, Poteau, Idabel, Sallisaw, Ada, Holdenville and Shawnee.
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