Despite word that a partial resolution could be in sight, over 3,000 National Guard soldiers from Wisconsin are training to go to Iraq next year.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Iraq Thursday trying to hammer out a security pact that could lead to U.S. forces moving out of Iraqi cities by as early as June.
In December, officials announced the 32nd Brigade Combat Team, with units in 36 Wisconsin communities, including Neillsville, Eau Claire, Wisconsin Rapids, Mosinee, Marshfield, Stevens Point, Abbotsford and Arcadia, would be deployed sometime next year in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Their duties will likely involve route security in Iraq and Kuwait.
Jackie Guthrie, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin National Guard, says Rice's trip to Iraq has no impact on the Brigade's preparations.
About 2,700 of the soldiers are just wrapping up a three-week training session at Ft. McCoy.
The Brigade is on alert, but no mobilization orders have been given. They anticipate they will be deployed early next year.
Most of these units have already served a tour of duty in the Middle East.
Neillsville's unit was deployed in June 2004 and returned home in November 2005. At that time, they were part of the 128th Infantry. They're now Company F of the 132 Brigade Support Battallion, headquartered in Portage.
The unit is authorized for up to 80 soldiers.
The 32nd Brigade Combat Team is descended from the famed 32nd "Red Arrow" Division, which gained notoriety during the World Wars I and II.