Another Oklahoma National Guard Unit Prepares For Deployment

Friday, October 12th 2012, 5:22 pm
By: News On 6

Another Oklahoma National Guard unit is getting ready to be deployed.

The 1245th company out of McAlester will be in Afghanistan by the end of the year.

News On 6 caught up with some of the company's members at Camp Gruber in Braggs as they prepare for deployment.

"Well, I'm kind of nervous and I'm kind of excited at the same time," said Specialist Samantha Maddox.

Maddox is getting ready for her first deployment.

She's with the 1245th Transportation Company, out of McAlester.

The soldiers were scheduled to train Friday at the gun range at Camp Gruber, but a heavy thunderstorm altered their plans.

Instead, they spent some time in the weight room.

Reporter: "Are you nervous?"
Captain James Coffman:: "Not really, not really. This is my third tour, but this unit is the best I've been in. It's my second command, so this is, by far, the best unit I've ever been a part of."

The 120 soldiers in the 1245th will help move supplies around in Afghanistan.

They'll also help protect American convoys.

6/12/2012 Related Story: Military Ties Further Bond Oklahoma Soldiers Who Serve With Family

The men and women say they're ready for the deployment—after all they've been training for nearly a year-and-a-half.

"Oh it's been really hard work, but it's been fun, also. I mean, our 1st Sergeant has been working us hard," Maddox said.

Their 1st Sergeant is Clint Caraway from Konawa.

He said the 1245th is a close unit with strong ties to Oklahoma.

"There's two soldiers that live within 50 miles of McAlester. Everybody else is spread out. The average drive is 200 miles to drill for training weekend," Caraway said.

Caraway has been to Iraq twice and this is his first time to Afghanistan.

He said he wants Oklahomans to know that his soldiers are prepared and proud to serve.

"For the family, the soldiers, this is their first deployment. You couldn't ask for a better first deployment for these young kids to go on, because of the training we've had down range, on-ground experience," Caraway said.

The soldiers are scheduled to leave for Fort Hood in Texas in November, and then it's on to Afghanistan in December. They're scheduled to be there about nine months.