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Washington, DC - Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Congressmen Mike Simpson and Walt Minnick issued the following statement today concerning the announcement of the Idaho National Guard deployment:

"First and foremost, our thoughts are with the families whose loved ones will be deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. We are pleased that the Idaho National Guard will be providing family support training sessions to help prepare them for the deployment. We have always supported efforts to ensure our military men and women have the resources they need to carry out and complete their missions successfully. The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team is home to some of the nation's finest, and we know they are trained and prepared for their upcoming mission. We wish them success and look forward to welcoming each of them home."

Approximately 1,500 Idaho soldiers form the 116th Cavalry Brigade will be deployed to Iraq for the duration of 12 months beginning this September. The Idaho Army National Guard is headquartered at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho. Idaho National Guard units are dispersed throughout the state in 27 communities. The 116th Cavalry Brigade is the state's largest unit.