Nearly 3,500 soldiers from the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team have been called for an active duty mission in Iraq, beginning in February of 2009. The unit is the largest in the state. Six other units will also deploy with them.
Officials say this will be the largest operational deployment of Wisconsin National Guard forces since World War II.
The unit has been on alert for a possible deployment since last December, and members were told over the weekend to report to their local armories in mid-February. They will then be sent to Texas for about two months of training, before spending the rest of the year-long mobilization in Iraq.
The 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team has an authorized strength of about 3,450 soldiers with units in 36 Wisconsin communities.