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Guard unit to deploy in 2010

A number of National Guard units around Alabama are preparing for deployment to the Middle East, and the unit from Demopolis is no exception.

The 2101st Transportation Company, based at the National Guard building on U.S. Highway 43 South, will be deployed in January 2010. The fuel transport company was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2005.

MSgt. Bill Bledsoe, the commanding officer for the 2101st, said there would not be any definite information about the deployment until November or December. Bledsoe added that he is retiring in November.

It was reported on June 8 that about 80 members of a Guard medical unit based in Gadsden had begun their final training in Washington state for a mission in Iraq, and that 75 members of a military police unit also based in Gadsden were being sent to Iraq from Texas on June 19.

The Birmingham News reported in March that as of the end of January, Alabama had the sixth-highest number of National Guard soldiers who had served in the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, with 7,250 Guard soldiers serving. States with higher numbers in the conflict were Texas, Pennsylvania, California, Indiana and Illinois.