National Guard troops prepare to deploy for dangerous duty

Friday, September 2nd 2005, 5:41 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Dozens of Oklahoma National Guard troops will leave Monday for an 18-month deployment in Iraq.

A Guard spokesman, Colonel Pat Scully, says about 150 troops from the 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery, will stop at Fort Lewis, Washington, for several weeks of training before they are deployed.

The Lawton-based battalion has armories in Chickasha, Duncan, Anadarko, Walters and Lawton.

The Guard's mission could include dangerous duty guarding supply routes and providing escorts in a war zone where roadside bombs have been a major killer of US troops.

Although the unit has been trained as an artillery force, this mission will call for close-in security work among Iraqi citizens.