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Begich Meets with Alaska Troops Training for Afghanistan Deployment


4,000 soldiers from 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Irwin

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is on his way to a California desert training center to meet with Alaska troops from the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division who are home-based at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.  Begich, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, arrives at Fort Irwin this afternoon to witness training by soldiers gearing up for a May deployment to Afghanistan.

"Talking to the troops and seeing their training first-hand is one of the best ways I know to make sure those serving our country have what they need to get the job done safely," Begich said. "I'm looking forward to my time at Fort Irwin, talking to Alaskans, and making sure they know they have my support and appreciation for their commitment and sacrifice."

About 4,000 troops of the1-25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team are at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin. It is one of the three major bases where troops prepare before deploying. The pre-deployment training focuses on counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Device) training and interfacing with more than 200 Afghanistan "role players" who help soldiers train for situations they may face.

In May of 2009, Begich traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan meeting with military commanders, regional leaders and Alaska troops. Begich said he hopes to return to the region again.

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