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Fort Payne unit activated for Middle East duty

FORT PAYNE, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama National Guard says another home grown unit is preparing to deploy to the Middle East in the spring.

Soldiers assigned to Fort Payne based 1343 Chemical Company will deploy to Kuwait or Iraq in mid-April.

Its unclear how many soldiers are affected by the call-up. A Guard spokesman said the unit will provide security and protection to supply convoys.

The deployment is expected to last approximately 12 months.

Alabama already has two units participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom and another team of soldiers in Afghanistan.