Oregon National Guard members could be some of the last members of the U.S. Armed Forces to serve in Afghanistan. Three battalions are set to deploy later this summer to help wrap up the American mission in that country. The first group of Guard members will mobilize this Saturday .
President Obama said last month that he wants to have around 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan by the beginning of next year. That's roughly a third of the current total. But nearly 900 of those service members will be part of the Oregon National Guard. Three sections of the 41st Infantry Brigade will deploy this summer after mobilization ceremonies in Salem, Bend and Ashland.
The soldiers will train for their mission at Fort Bliss and Fort Hood in Texas before departing overseas later this summer. They could be there until next spring. The Guard says its members will provide security and support services at military bases in Kabul and southwest Afghanistan.
Officials from both the Washington and Idaho National Guard say there are no upcoming missions to Afghanistan planned for guard members in either of those states.
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