LITTLE ROCK, AR - About half of Arkansas' largest National Guard unit will ship out Saturday for about a month of training before returning to Iraq for a second tour of duty. The remaining half will follow later. The brigade has about 3,200 soldiers, many of which are based in northeast Arkansas.
Arkansas Air National Guard Major Keith Moore says advance teams from the 39th Infantry Brigade are leaving today for Camp Shelby in Mississippi. The solidiers this weekend will leave from 15 locations around the state.
Last spring, the Guard received word it could be called up again to serve in Iraq, just two years after its first tour. Plans then called for the 39th to join Guard brigades from Indiana, Ohio and Oklahoma to form a force of about 13,000 troops to relieve battle-weary soldiers in Iraq.