UPDATE:60 Miss. Guard soldiers mobilize for Iraq

The Associated Press

TUPELO – Military leaders are planning a farewell ceremony Saturday for about 60 Mississippi Army National Guard soldiers who will soon deploy to Iraq.

The Troop A, 1st Battalion, 230th Aviation Brigade in Tupelo will be honored with the send off ceremony at 1 p.m. at the Army Aviation Support Facility.

They will head to Fort Sill, Okla., on Tuesday for final preparations for the deployment.

The battalion will operate and maintain OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters for reconnaissance and security operations in Iraq.

They are expected to return in March 2010.