Ark. 39th Infantry Brigade to return stateside

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.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)