Topeka — A Kansas National Guard helicopter unit has received an order to prepare for deployment to Iraq.
About 200 members of the 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation are expected to go to Fort Hood, Texas, in the spring for additional training prior to their deployment. The unit is expected to be in Iraq for about a year.
The unit has guardsmen from Kansas, Texas and Iowa. Its commander is Lt. Col. Alan Soldan. Headquartered in Topeka, the unit also has companies in Salina, Austin, Texas, and Boone, Iowa. It is equipped with UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
"Helicopter units are an important part of our military strategy, providing air support for ground forces, transportation of troops and equipment and aerial reconnaissance," said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, Kansas adjutant general.