Northeast Mississippi soldiers headed south Friday as part of a mobilization for an overseas deployment next month.
The troops are among the 3,400 members of the Tupelo-based Mississippi Army National Guard’s 155th Brigade Combat Team who were gathering at Camp Shelby, just south of Hattiesburg.
There, the soldiers will prepare for deployment overseas to unspecified locations for the next year. A mid-June deployment is expected.
This will be the 155th’s second deployment since 2005, according to Mississippi National Guard Spokesman Lt. Col. Tim Powell.
Gov. Haley Barbour, commander in chief of the Mississippi National Guard, wished the soldiers well on their mission.
“These are highly trained soldiers and I know they will again do an excellent job supporting our national defense,” said Barbour.
Maj. Gen. William L. Freeman, the adjutant general of Mississippi, said the men trained hard for their latest deployment. Because most of the soldiers deployed this time are combat veterans, Freeman said they will share their experience with younger soldiers.
The 155th BCT is made up of units in 51 locations throughout the state. During the their first deployment, the 155th Brigade Team conducted security operations, cordon and search missions and helped facilitate three national elections.
They also participated in humanitarian projects aimed at winning the “hearts and minds” of Iraqi citizens.
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Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal