HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Soldiers from the Arkansas National
Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade begin returning home from Iraq
Tuesday night, signaling the end of the unit's second deployment to
The first contingent will have about 160 soldiers, with the rest
of the more than 3,000 soldiers arriving over the coming weeks to
Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, Miss.
There are no deployments scheduled for Arkansas Guard troops in
2009, which will give the state time to assess the health and size
of its force. It will be the first year since 1996 that Arkansas
has not deployed troops overseas.
In late 2003, the brigade was sent to Iraq, where members served
until early 2005. During that deployment, 16 Arkansas members of
the brigade were killed. After the first Iraq deployment, some
members of the brigade helped out on border missions in New Mexico
and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina before receiving orders
for a second deployment.
Those wanting to get updates on when returning flights will
arrive at Camp Shelby can call (501) 212-8000 each day for updates.