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Jan. 27, 2012

 In Albany headed to California, then Afghanistan,

Army sends details after seeing story and photos online

The Army equipment parked on a rail siding near Albany on Monday belongs to an Alaska-based brigade preparing for deployment to Afghanistan this spring.

The train was parked on Hallaway Siding, held up by work to replace ties on the main line in the Eugene area, according to Brock Nelson, Union Pacific director of public affairs for Washington and Oregon.

The train left Monday afternoon, headed south toward the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

Another train carrying Army equipment passed through the mid-valley on its way south earlier.

Maj. David Mattox wrote that the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska, sent vehicles via rail to the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

Some of the equipment will be sent to Afghanistan from California, but not the Stryker vehicles, which will be upgraded to protect soldiers better. In Afghanistan, the brigade will use Strykers already there, Mattox wrote.

He sent along a press release from December, in which the Army announced that the brigade will deploy to Afghanistan for a year in May in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The 4,000-soldier brigade returned from a 12-month deployment to Iraq in September 2009. Since then, many of the unit's soldiers and leaders were replaced as part of the Army's Force Regeneration system and its equipment was refurbished.

Much of the brigade's resetting consisted of training - from individual soldier skills on up through battalion-level unit exercises. This training included intense training on neutralizing enemy forces as well as cultural and medical aid training.

The brigade will conduct a mission readiness exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin in February as part of its final certification before deploying.

When the unit gets back from the National Training Center, members will get a two-week leave to allow soldiers and families to prepare for the deployment.

January 18, 2011 10:38


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