Guard units await deployments

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama National Guard leader said about 1,600 troops could be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in fiscal 2009.

Army Major General A.C. Blalock, the state Adjutant General, said if the deployments go forward it would represent the highest number of personnel in the two countries since after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Currently there are teams of Alabama-based soldiers training Afghanistan soldiers and police.

Blalock said 75 members of the 128th Medical Company arrived in Kuwait this week and could be in Iraq later this month.

Another unit, the 877th Engineer Battalion and its 400 soldiers await deployment to Afghanistan.

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

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