N.C. National Guard Brigade to Head Back to Iraq
Posted October 19, 2007 4:45 p.m. EDT
Updated October 19, 2007 7:24 p.m. EDT
Clinton, N.C. — The North Carolina National Guard's 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team will deploy to Iraq in early 2009, marking the second tour of duty for the unit, officials announced Friday.
The 30th is the North Carolina National Guard's largest unit, comprising almost 4,000 soldiers. It previously served in the eastern Diyala and Salah Ad Din provinces in Iraq in 2003, when it was the first National Guard brigade combat team called to duty and the first to operate as a stand-alone brigade with its own area of operation.
Five guardsmen were killed, and about 120 were wounded during the first deployment, which ended in early 2005.
According to the Department of Defense, the unit will be responsible for conducting full-spectrum operations in an assigned battle space or area of operation when it returns to Iraq in 2009.
The long alert time before deployment is supposed to provide the unit with time to plan and train and to provide some degree of predictability for soldiers, families and employers, officials said.