Fla. National Guard troops set for deployment

Published: Monday, January 4, 2010 at 6:57 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 4, 2010 at 11:25 a.m.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nearly 2,500 soldiers from the Florida National Guard are heading to Texas this week to train for deployments in Kuwait and Iraq.

It's the largest contingent of Florida National Guard soldiers to be deployed since World War II.

The soldiers from the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team are scattered throughout the state. For many, it's their second or third deployment overseas.

The troops began training at the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center near Jacksonville last year. Their training included a model Iraqi village where expatriate Iraqis role-played and spoke Arabic.

The Guard members will spend a few weeks at Fort Hood in Texas.

Maj. Gen. Douglas Burnett, adjutant general of Florida, says about 8,000 Guard soldiers will remain in the state.

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