Arkansas lawmakers say training is better at Camp Shelby

Two members of Congress say they've heard

good reports from Arkansas soldiers getting ready to return to Iraq

for a second tour of wartime duty with the 39th Infantry Brigade.

Congressmen Mike Ross and John Boozman (BOZE'-mun) said today

(Sunday) that the second-timers agree that they're getting much

better training this time around.

Ross and Boozman visited with the troops today at Camp Shelby in

Mississippi, near Hattiesburg, along with Senator Blanche Lincoln.

In a telephone interview after their visit to the troops,

Boozman attributed the better training, in part, to the duration of

the war. He said that the Army has just learned a lot as the war

has gone on, and is much more knowledgeable about the techniques

being used.

A farewell ceremony for the 39th is planned at Camp Shelby on

Thursday. An Arkansas National Guard news release said, however,

that actual departure for Iraq isn't expected to take place until

mid-March.

Ross said the soldiers he talked with were handling well the

hardship of separation from their families and the prospect of duty

in a war zone. He said they're ready to go to Iraq and get the job

done and get back home to their families.