Soldiers Have Ceremony Before Deploying

army deployASHLAND, Ore. — About 300 soldiers of the 186th Infantry in Southern Oregon attended a deployment ceremony Friday morning before leaving for Fort Hood in Texas on Saturday.

On Thursday, preparations for the ceremony were underway after the soldiers just returned from their annual training. The troops will spend 60 days at Fort Hood for more training, before being sent to Afghanistan for nine months.

Officials say this could be their final deployment for Operation Enduring Freedom and their assignment once they get overseas is still unknown.

“The mission, as it contracts in Afghanistan, is going to require us to be flexible. So, we’re not always sure what we’re going to be doing when we go into the country, but we’ll be prepared for anything that we need to do,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Noel Hoback.

The 186th Infantry returned from their most recent deployment to Iraq in 2010. Officials say they’ve been sent out every four to five years since 9/11.