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Triangle Guardsmen Move Out; Coast Guard On Patrol Off N.C. Coast

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MORRISVILLE, N.C. — As hundreds of National Guard members from the Triangle said goodbye to their families Sunday to prepare for a possible role in the showdown with Saddam, an extra 100 Coast Guard members were called to duty to guard ports in Wilmington and Morehead City.

The Coast Guard will patrol the waters and shore while military equipment is loaded onto ships. The Coast Guard will also set up security zones, and any ships needing to travel through there must get permission first.

The 130th Aviation Regiment, based at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in Morrisville, is headed to Fort Bragg for training. More than 1,500 people attended a ceremony at the Morrisville guard armory on Sunday to say goodbye. Among those attending were Governor Mike Easley and Lieutenant Governor Beverly Perdue.

More than 320 soldiers in the First Battalion are scheduled to leave Tuesday for training at Fort Bragg before heading to an undisclosed location.

The unit, which flies 24 Apache attack helicopters, will be on active duty for one year, with a possible extension to two.

In Asheboro, family and friends waving American flags went to the city's guard armory Sunday morning to see off members of the1454th Transportation Company. More than 140 company members left for Fort Bragg to receive two weeks of training before going to anundisclosed location.

National Guard troops from Asheboro and Concord also were called to duty. Soldiers and their families said goodbye Saturday.

Reservists account for nearly half of the U.S. military.

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