The Oklahoma Army National Guard announced today that the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team has received their mobilization order for duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
On alert for possible duty in Iraq since last April, more than 2,400 Oklahoma Army National Guard Soldiers will be mobilized for active duty in Iraq Oct. 19.
The 45th will have a farewell ceremony Oct. 18 before moving to Fort Bliss, Texas, for approximately 10 weeks of intensive, mission-specific pre-deployment training.
Actual deployment to Iraq will take place in early 2008. The deployment is expected to last one year from the mobilization date.
The unit deployed to Afghanistan in 2004.
"Now we can focus on the job at hand," said Brig. Gen. Myles Deering, brigade commander, in a statement. "It is never easy to send soldiers into harm's way, but the soldiers and the families of the 45th accept the mission and will carry on with courage and determination."
The 45th recently completed 28 days of pre-mobilization training at Camp Gruber (pictured) and Ft. Chaffee, Ark. The soldiers trained on basic weapons marksmanship, Military Operations in Urban Terrain, land navigation, convoy operations, improvised-explosive device recognition, physical fitness improvement and combat-life saving.
The weapons training consisted of familiarization and qualification with the new M4 carbine rifle and a number of crew-served weapons, as well as, 9mm pistol qualification, hand grenade qualification, live-fire exercises and night-fire exercises.
Before mobilizing, the 45th will conduct another 15-day training period beginning Sept. 10.
During the Pre-mobilization Training, the soldiers will continue to training on fundamental soldier skills and participate in Soldier Readiness Processing. During the SRP, soldiers will undergo additional medical screenings, legal briefs and finance record reviews in addition to several other crucial pre-mobilization tasks.