Kansas National Guards Prepare for Iraq Deployment

SALINA, Kan. - Approximately 260 Kansas National Guard soldiers are currently conducting pre-mobilization training in Salina in preparation for deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Guard’s 287th Sustainment Brigade will leave next week for Fort Lewis, Wash., and then deploy to Iraq. In Iraq their mission will be logistical support for U.S. and Coalition forces in their assigned area operations.

The training includes deploying in a convoy, avoiding Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), and urban search training.

The 287th Sustainment Brigade, headquartered in Wichita, is also made up of the 169th Corp Support Sustainment Battalion, headquartered in Olathe, the 891st Engineer Battalion headquartered in Iola, and the 287th Special Troop Battalion, headquartered in Hays, as well as subordinate units in each battalion.

A deployment ceremony for the 287 Sustainment Brigade will be held on Friday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. at the Masonic Center, 336 S Santa Fe Ave., in Salina.

Kansas is one of only a few states with Guard facilities providing nearly all pre-deployment training prior to deployment overseas. This is the second Kansas National Guard unit to conduct pre-mobilization training at the Salina facility prior to going to Iraq. The 1st Battalion, 161 Field Artillery was the first to do this and will return home from their deployment next month.