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Oklahoma Guardsmen Training For Deployment Overseas

Thousands of Oklahoma National Guardsmen may be headed to war. For the next month they'll train at Camp Gruber and Fort Chaffee. News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports on what it means to be war ready.

“We're shooting 249s squad automatic weapons,” Oklahoma National Guard soldier First Lt Jason Cummins said.

Just one of the tools the soldiers are counting on if they head to Iraq.

“Our M4s are neat, they've got a laser, laser dot scope so you can pick your target out better, and they're a lot easier to carry,” Specialist Brandon Taylor of the Oklahoma National Guard said.

They'll have one month to master the powerful machines, combat first aid, recognizing and reacting to improvised explosive devices and urban warfare. And they'll train day and night.

“It's a little more intense,” said Guardsman Specialist Rob Mazure. “We've got an objective, and we've got a plan going on about the deployment, so a lot of guys are taking this a little more serious.”

Knowing Iraq will be unlike some of them have seen.

“I was sent to New Orleans last August so I'd imagine this will be a lot different,” Specialist Taylor said.

But if called they're ready to answer

“I'm all for it. This is what we're supposed to do,” said Specialist Mazure. “We've got an objective, and we've got a plan When you raise your hand and swear on the oath you don't just say for tornadoes. National Guard is protecting from enemies foreign and domestic, so this is what it's all about.”

The soldiers could be deployed sometime in 2008. If it happens, the Guard says it will be the largest deployment of Oklahoma Citizen Soldiers since the Korean War.

Watch the video: Guardsmen Training For Deployment At Camp Gruber
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